Category Archives: Architecture

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Gehrmann Park

The development of Gehrmann Park in 1946 caused the destruction of what then probably was Springfield’s oldest building – a log cabin built by one of the Kellys, the city’s first European settlers. The three-acre park between Third and Fourth … Continue reading

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Lincoln Tomb custodian’s home

A contract to build a home for the custodian of the Lincoln Tomb was awarded to Col. James Culver’s contracting company in August 1895. The cost was $2,500, and the design was very specific. The Illinois State Journal spelled it … Continue reading

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Executive Mansion demolition plan, 1963

Postponed maintenance, repair crises and general dilapidation have been recurring problems at the Illinois Executive Mansion – most recently in 2014 and 2015, when a leaky roof and mold in the basement helped create a need for more than $5 … Continue reading

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