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«IDOT Sequence #17337 & #17337A Prepared for: •Illinois Department of Transportation •Parsons Brinckerhoff Prepared by: Heritage Research, Ltd. ...»

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Historic Rural and Urban

Architectural Resources:

Chicago to St. Louis High Speed Rail

IDOT Sequence #17337 & #17337A

Prepared for:

•Illinois Department of Transportation

•Parsons Brinckerhoff

Prepared by:

Heritage Research, Ltd.

Historical & Environmental Consultants

Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

17 December 2014


Methodology 2 Chapter 1: Historical/Background Information 4 Cook County 7 Will County 8 Grundy County 15 Livingston County 18 McLean County 22 Logan County 29 Sangamon County 32 Macoupin County 37 Jersey County 43 Madison County 44 St. Clair County 52 St. Louis, MO 55 Chapter 2: Architectural Styles and Forms 59 Chapter 3: Resource Types 68 Chapter 4: Recommendations 74 Bibliography 86 Appendix A: Maps 91 Appendix B: Chicago to Joliet Resources 106 Appendix C: Springfield Resources 117

Historic Rural and Urban Architectural Resources:

Chicago to St. Louis High Speed Rail Page 1


This architecture/history reconnaissance survey focuses on the proposed High Speed Rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis. It concentrates on those cultural resources not affiliated with either the existing rail line (i.e. depots, railroad bridges, etc.) or with U.S. Route 66 (i.e.

roadbed, gas stations, etc.). Such resources were discussed along within their appropriate contexts in two companion surveys.

Fieldwork in 2013 concentrated on that portion of the corridor between Laraway Road south of Joliet to Lincoln. The survey area was 250 feet to either side of the existing rail line and every structure estimated to have been constructed before 1970 was photographed. The initial survey between Laraway Road to the outskirts of Normal found 428 properties consisting of a diverse mix of residential, agricultural, commercial, civic and industrial resources representing a wide variety of architectural styles. A significant number of these buildings were heavily modified to the point that their estimated age was the only factor that mandated that they be photographed – they simply offered no architectural or historical significance. These initial findings were discussed with IDOT and revised survey criteria were prepared for consideration by IHPA, which was approved.

The modified criteria were used for the Normal to East St. Louis portion of the HSR corridor, which was surveyed in fall 2013 and summer 2014. Structures were photographed under the

following criteria:

• Residential: Buildings were surveyed if estimated to have been built before 1970 and they presented their original mass and form along with exhibiting a minimal sense of their historic appearance. Buildings could present several modifications such as replacement siding, fenestration, porch alterations and additions and still merit surveying.

Those buildings that had been modified to the point where their appearance was ahistorical and sterile were not surveyed. Also, those residential structures that were severely dilapidated and offered no architectural detail were not surveyed.

• Commercial: Most commercial buildings within the survey corridor were located in traditional downtown commercial districts. Survey criteria included retention of original form, mass and scale along with limited architectural and stylistic details. Those buildings that have had all original materials, ornamentation and fenestration replaced, downsized or removed, as well as demonstrating no sense of an historic-era appearance were not surveyed. In general, those buildings not surveyed would be classified as noncontributing elements of downtown commercial historic district.

• Industrial: Industrial buildings to include warehouses and storage structures were surveyed if they displayed a minimal identification of their activity and sense of integrity.

Austere ancillary buildings such as metal-sided, pole buildings and grain bins that are the only remnants of a larger, non-extant industrial complex where not surveyed if they presented no individual architectural or historical merit.

Historic Rural and Urban Architectural Resources:

Chicago to St. Louis High Speed Rail Page 2 With regard to the segment from Chicago to north of Laraway Road, the survey area was limited to 125 feet to either side of the proposed rail line. Historic-period buildings within that portion of the corridor had been photographed in 2007-2008 by the engineering consultant. That series of photographs was reviewed and those properties that exhibited a reasonable degree of architectural or historical significance were noted and examined via Google or Bing streetview functions. A field review of all properties in this portion of the project is planned for early 2015.

Those properties located along the proposed HSR corridor in Springfield have been previously surveyed and initially were not part of this survey effort. Project plans evolved for their inclusion in this survey and properties along the railine were examined via Google and Bing streetview functions. A field review of all properties in this portion of the project is planned for early 2015.

As a result of this survey effort, 1,219 properties 1 throughout the project corridor were photographed. An Excel database organized by county and city was prepared that detailed the address and a brief description of each property. Those properties surveyed under the original criteria that did not meet the revised survey criteria were culled and their respective database entries highlighted in red. All digital photographs were labeled and organized on a CD-R by county and city. No printed photographs were provided.

This report is organized into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides a brief historic context of all of the communities along the proposed HSR route. These contexts were developed as part of a 1998 survey document prepared by Heritage Research that concentrated only on those properties immediately adjacent to street crossings. The original contexts were reviewed and updated as necessary. Chapter 2 details the significant architectural styles found throughout the corridor and provides photographs of representative examples. Residential, religious and civic buildings were organized in this document primarily within the context of their architectural style; however, they were also considered for their historical potential. Chapter 3 provides a contextual overview of the major non-residential resource types found along the project corridor. These types include agriculture, commercial, grain storage and industrial. And finally, Chapter 4 identifies those properties already listed in the National Register, as well as those 45 individual properties and two historic districts that may merit additional research for the potential eligibility for the National Register should project plans warrant. 2 Maps citing the locations of the properties detailed in Chapter 4 are found in Appendix A. And finally, Appendices B and C provide images of properties in the Chicago and Springfield areas that possess a reasonable level of architectural or historical interest. These two appendices are included to provide a beginning point of discussion regarding project activities and will be integrated into the main body of the final report once fieldwork is complete.

Excluded from this resource count at this point are those properties located between Chicago and Laraway Road and in Springfield.

The National Register list includes those listed properties in Springfield and Chicago to Laraway Road portions of the corridor. At this time, the list of 45 additional properties recommended for further study do not include resources in the Chicago to Laraway Road and Springfield portions of the HSR corridor. They will be included in the final draft of this report.

–  –  –

The following historical background narrative discusses the general development of the corridor within which the High Speed Rail project will be operating. The study details the general historical evolution of the counties, townships and communities along the designated route. It begins with Chicago and follows the Rock Island line to Joliet. Between Joliet and St. Louis, the route follows the alignment of the historic Chicago & Alton Railroad—a line now operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. Between the anchor cities of Chicago and St. Louis, the project corridor passes through some very productive farmland. Additionally, the region includes fairly extensive coal deposits and, to a lesser extent, quarries. It is within this context that the unrelated rail resources within the survey corridor were observed.

Chicago The largest city in Cook County, Chicago, is truly a “nature’s metropolis.” Few cities have so effectively capitalized on nature’s bounty to become an industrial and commercial giant, as well as the hub of a vast transportation network.

To some early American settlers, the area’s geographic configuration failed to inspire visions of future greatness. A low, flat, grassy expanse of land known as the Chicago Plain stretched westward from Lake Michigan. About one mile inland, the northern and southern branches of the Chicago River intermingled. From that point, the river flowed sluggishly eastward. Sand often clogged the river’s mouth and, indeed, a sand bar paralleling the lakeshore forced the river southward for roughly a halfmile before it emptied into the lake. The plain itself was dotted with “patches of thin and scrubby woods” and also had large areas of swamp-like ground. The land rose gradually until a low line of ridges, about eight miles inland, severed connections with the waterways flowing toward the Mississippi river. An observer thought in 1823 that the area around Chicago offered “but a few features upon which the eye... can dwell with pleasure.”4 That disparaging remake notwithstanding, the area’s importance regarding transportation was manifest long before the city was established. Indian trails traversed the region and, for many years, Native Americans used the portage between the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers as a link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River Valley. French explorers likewise took advantage of the inland water route. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet briefly stopped at the mouth of the Chicago River on the return leg of their exploration of the Mississippi. Marquette returned the following This chapter is adapted from material originally presented in HRL’s final report, Literature Search and Preliminary Historic Resource Survey – High Speed Rail: Chicago to St. Louis, which was submitted on 20 October

1998. In addition to Dr. Vogel, authors that contributed to that original report included Laura Abing, Ph.D., Traci E.

Schnell, M.A., Kevin Abing, Ph.D., Bill Clark, M.A., John Savagian, M.A., Lena L. Sweeten, M.A., and Barbara Maciejewski, B.A.

Quote in Harold M. Mayer & Richard C. Wade, Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), 2; Bessie Louise Pierce, A History of Chicago, 3 vols. (Chicago: Alfred A. Knopf, 1937, 1940, 1957): 1:3-4.

Historic Rural and Urban Architectural Resources:

Chicago to St. Louis High Speed Rail Page 4 winter and became the first white man to live in the area for an extended period. Traders followed Marquette’s lead and the portage route became a vital thoroughfare for the flow of people, fur and other goods from French Canada to the Mississippi River Valley. The French controlled the trade along this route until 1763, when France lost the struggle with England for a North American empire.

British hegemony, however, was short-lived. After the American Revolution, the British ceded control of the Old Northwest to the fledgling United States but continued to maintain posts in the region until 1794.5 Americans recognized the importance of the Chicago area as a transportation route, but Native American strength forcibly prevented white occupation. That strength was broken in 1794 when General “Mad Anthony” Wayne defeated a multi-tribal force at the Battle of Fallen timbers. The following year, the Indians ceded a huge territory, including a six square-mile tract at the mouth of the Chicago River. Soon thereafter, the U.S. took steps to cement its control of the region. In 1803, a small military force erected Fort Dearborn along the river’s south bank. But this was not the start of permanent settlement in what became known as Chicago. When soldiers arrived, they found a sprinkling of fur traders, Indians and settlers in the area. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable initiated the nascent community in the 1770s when he established a trading post near the mouth of the river. A small contingent of traders soon clustered around the post. Du Sable left in 1800, but others remained.

The presence of Fort Dearborn augmented the surrounding community with discharged soldiers, additional traders and farmers. There were about forty residents in the area by 1812. The outbreak of the War of 1812 and the threat of Indian attacks prompted the abandonment of the fort. Once hostilities ended, the military and other settlers returned, but Chicago grew very little throughout the 1820s, numbering only fifty people at the end of the decade. 6 The 1830s marked Chicago’s take-off point. Several factors account for this rapid growth, with the Black Hawk War of 1832 playing an important role. As a result of the conflict, not only was the Indian threat removed, but soldiers returning home spread news of the region’s economic potential. In addition, the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 diverted the flow of western immigration from the Ohio River Valley to the Great Lakes region. Hoping to lure prospective settlers and speculators to Chicago, town boosters improved the harbor at the river’s mouth. Lastly, state officials thought a proposed canal linking the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers would enhance the region’s development.

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