Category Archives: Architecture

Illinois State Fairgrounds Coliseum

The Illinois State Fairgrounds Coliseum was a huge hit when it first opened to fairgoers in 1901. But not huge enough, because the building had to be substantially expanded only two years later. The Coliseum, declared unsafe for use in … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, National Register, State government | 8 Comments

Old Stone House, Rochester

The Old Stone House, a project of the Rochester Historical Preservation Society, is an 1830s dwelling moved from its original site east of town to near Rochester Community Park. It is open periodically as a living history demonstration. The house … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Communities, Historic Sites, Lincoln, Abraham, Markers, Museums | 1 Comment

Oak Ridge Abbey (mausoleum)

When Springfield’s first mausoleum was built, its builders played on people’s fears of disease, grave robbery, decomposition and neglect. What’s more, they promised, interment in the Oak Ridge Abbey would protect against the possibility of premature burial. The interior of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Local government | Leave a comment

The Extraordinary Ordinary — 113 W. Mulberry St., Chatham

Note: This entry has been revised, thanks to information provided by Chatham-area Facebook users. Buildings customarily gain historic reputations from their age or because of their connections to a prominent person or event.  We also like them decorated in an … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Auto dealers, Buildings, Business, Prominent figures, Transportation | 1 Comment

Springfield square, 1859 (photos)

These photographs showing the four sides of the public square in 1859 are the most frequently viewed scenes of Springfield life during the years Abraham Lincoln lived in the city. They were taken by Preston Butler (1818-??), who had a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Lincoln, Abraham | Leave a comment

Covered bridges (Genealogy Trails information)

At least 30 covered bridge sites have been identified in Sangamon County, more than anywhere else in Illinois, according to an article posted on a family history web site, Genealogy Trails. The writer – Genealogy Trails contributors appear to all … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Transportation | Leave a comment

Spring Creek Covered Bridge fire, 1977

A covered bridge spanning Spring Creek west of Springfield was destroyed in what was thought to be an arson fire on Dec. 26, 1977. The bridge – known as the Spring Creek Covered Bridge, the Riddle Hill Bridge or the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Historic Sites, Transportation | 2 Comments

The Muller blocks (Lenox Avenue from State to Price streets)

Construction contractor Lee Muller (1910-73) built the stone buildings that line the 700 and 800 blocks of West Lenox Avenue. The six buildings, all faced with Bedford stone, contain more than 30 rental units. The original showcase of the complex was … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Business | Leave a comment

Downtown arches

The steel arches that once dominated the four corners of Springfield’s downtown square went from being a graceful addition to an eyesore in barely 20 years. Actually, Springfield erected two sets of arches on the square in the late 1800s. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Business, Celebrations, Local government | Leave a comment

The Coal Palace

Sangamon County showed off its most valuable mineral by building a “grand coal palace” for the 1889 county fair. The idea for the palace apparently originated with an unidentified Illinois State Journal staff member only two weeks before the scheduled … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Architecture, Buildings, Business, Coal mines and mining, Industry, Labor unions, Spectacles | Leave a comment