Monday, December 17, 2012

29 East Main Street

Many might of passed 29 Main Street and never gave it a second glance.  There is nothing overly spectacular about this two story structure that sits on the northeast corner of Walnut and Main Streets.  However, there are very few parcels in Downtown, where you will find a building that is original to the City of Champaign itself.  29 Main Street is one of those buildings.  Today it sits nearly the same as it did when its first brick was laid in the early 1860s.  While Downtown has drastically changed around it, 29 Main Street continues to anchor this important block of Main Street.  Its only change over time have been the removal of its front cornice.    

29 Main Street (left) was the first brick building constructed on the block
bound by Walnut and Chestnut Street.  You will notice the Doane House
at the end of the block.
Photo courtesy of the Champaign County Archives

29 Main Street (left) as it appears next to its neighbor
31 Main Street (Champaign Times building - still standing).
The Trevett & Green Building loomed large
on the block before fire destroyed the building.
29 Main Street as seen on May 27, 1931.  Sam Weingarten closed this store
the following year and Kroger opened a small grocer.
Photo courtesy of William Youngerman
29 Main Street seen here as a Kroger on September 26, 1934.
Photo courtesy of the Sholem Family. 

The building was eventually purchased by the Kuhn family and incorporated
into the store.  The second floor was home to the Advertising Department.
This photo was taken in 1984.
Photo courtesy of William Youngerman

29 Main Street as it appears today.  The ground floor houses Skins N' Tins
Drum Shop and a small barber shop.  The upper floor is vacant.  However,
the building exists today as it has since the first brick was laid.
Photo courtesy of TJ Blakeman

1 comment:

  1. A lot of old Champaign names in these pictures. Dodson and Hodges sold Hardware as did Trevett and Green. In the 2nd picture, Louis Vitton Manspeaker sold fancy groceries, fruit and vegetabes at 31 Main. The long Trevett-Green block reached all the way down to the current parking lot. That lot was the site of the original Kuhns store. The building also housed a number of saloons and cigar makers and a hotel and offices on the upper floors. This monster block burned to the ground on Dec 23, 1904 when the Meis Brothers dept store caught fire in a spectacular blaze. Only the valiant efforts of the CFD saved 29 and 31 from burning as well. The Kuhn family had a controlling interest in these blocks and tore down the ruins and built the new Kuhns store as well as several other store buildings.