Friday, December 14, 2012

Welcome to my Champaign History Blog

Welcome to my new Champaign History Blog!  This blog will be devoted to organizing the individual history of built environment throughout Champaign, Illinois.  I will be posting photos that I have collected over the past 10 years in a weekly (forgive me if this changes) post dedicated to one building at a time.  This blog represents years of scanning and searching for those unique views that have never been seen by the general public.

My goal with this blog is to inspire a renewed sense of pride and history in the built environment of Champaign, Illinois.  Over the past 150 years, our community has been recycled several time with some parcels currently occupied by their fourth generation of building.  Our community quickly evolved from a wood framed train stop to the largest and strongest commercial center in East Central Illinois.  This blog will attempt to tell that story one building (or lot) at a time.  The best part about it, is that the comments collected from the readers will help to capture the living history of our community in one place for all to read and see.

EDITORS NOTE: I am not all knowing (surprise!) and will never pretend to be a complete expert on every building.  I will tell the story as I know it and look to you, the readers, to correct me when I am wrong.  This is a living blog that will change as the stories of others complete the tale.  

Main Street Champaign, looking east from Neil Street circa 1860s

5 comments:

  1. Awesome concept for a blog TJ. I look forward to all of your future posts.

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  2. I have often wished for a record just like you are starting here. Good luck with the project. I suppose you have noticed that the old Chicago Title building has had its most recent facade removed and you can see it more as it looked when I believe it was a Kroger and a hotel. Back then it had three stories.

    I have had an office on the first floor of the old Willis Department store since 1997. I am on the Northeast corner and have watched huge changes since then. You probably know that the lobby of the building has some nice pictures of old downtown, inclucing a huge blowup of the building itself. It shows my office shortly after the building was reconstructed in 1915 with numerous cars and pedestrians. Right outsice my office is parked and electric car, a motorcycle and a popcorn cart.

    John Bramfeld

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  3. NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING, TJ! THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK IN ASSEMBLING THIS BLOG! I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THIS GROW. GREAT CONCEPT OF THE MOVING THROUGH TIME FROM THE SAME POINT OF VIEW.

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  4. Love, love, love! Thank you for all of the work you do to bring Old Champaign to its current residents!

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  5. Enjoyed an amazing tour today of downtown Champaign. I learned so much. I am enjoying this blog as well. Thank you!

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