A local landmark, which is a designation approved by the City Council, is protected from demolition or exterior alterations which negatively affect the historic character of the property. In addition to these locally designated properties, there are a number of properties that have been designated as landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places. Alterations to landmarks designated on the National Register are not reviewed by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Locally Designated Residences

503 S State Street
Built in 1867; William Barret, developer; Seeley Brown, arch.
Italianate (Tuscan Villa)

The Harwood-Solon House is an excellent example of the Tuscan Villa Italianate architectural style. Characteristics of this style include its brick construction, low hip roof with cupola, orante L-shaped porch, round-arched windows, and elaborate entablature with frieze sash. Only minor alterations have occurred over the years and were undertaken primarily for the insertion of mechanical systems which carry their own historic value. The historic integrity of the house has been remarkably maintained over the years. The residence was developed by William Barrett from plans of the architect/builder, Seeley Brown.

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


212 E University Avenue
Constructed in 1893; Seeley Brown, architect
Queen Anne

The Ahrens House is an excellent local example of the Queen Anne architectural style and is unique in having its original carriage barn and wrought-iron fencing intact. It is also one of the few surviving buildings that can be definitively linked to pioneering local architect Seely Brown. The integrity of the house is unparalleled.  Not only do original light and plumbing fixtures remain, but also the original Lincrusta-Walton type interior decoration. The house has remained connected to its original owner and builder, Henry C. Ahrens, through the marriage of his daughter to Walter Divan and the subsequent transfer of ownership to Divan’s daughter Marilyn Divan Wojnar.

This building, carriage barn, and wrought-iron fence are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

101 N Elm Street
Constructed in 1900
Georgian Revival

The residence is associated with John R. Trevett, a local banker and founding partner of the Trevett-Mattis Bank. A graduate from the inaugural class of the Illinois Technological Institute in 1868, he was active in local government, and served three separate appointments as Champaign City Treasurer, City Police Commissioner, and City Parks Commissioner.

This building is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

201 N Elm Street
Constructed in 1883
Queen Anne

The residence is associated with Ross R. Mattis, founding partner in the Trevett-Mattis Bank. The home is also noteworthy for being the first residential building to be equipped with a steam radiator system and an elevator in Champaign County. The carriage house is also a historically significant feature.

This building is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

1018 W Church Street
Constructed in 1906
Neoclassical

704 N Randolph Street
Constructed in 1872; additions ca. 1895.
Vernacular (T-Plan with Queen Anne detailing)

The original owner, Thomas Franks, was the University of Illinois Gardener and established a large greenhouse and landscaping business next to the house. Mr. Franks was responsible for designing the layout of Illinois Field (now the Beckman Institute) and was also a Champaign Parks Commissioner. While he worked with the Parks Commission, the concrete sidewalks and ‘Prayer for Rain’ Sculpture were constructed in West Side Park.

309 E Chalmers Street
Constructed in 1922 English Revival; Howard Van Doren Shaw, Arch.; English Brothers, cont.
Tudor Revival

This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1509 W Park Avenue
Constructed in 1925; Charles Saxby Elwood, arch.
Prairie School

Locally significant, Wee Haven is an excellent and rare local example of the Prairie School architectural style designed by Charles Saxby Elwood. The floor plan was originally published in the February 1924 issue of Fruit, Garden and Home magazine. Nancy C. Sweringen purchased the lot and built the home, yet never resided at the location. It was used as a rental income property till 1944 when her son and his wife (Walter and Helen Swearingen) were deeded the property and moved there. Mr. Swearingen would go on to be a Champaign City Councilman, and became the Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements until 1955.

This property is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

305 W University Avenue
Constructed in 1925
Tudor Revival

This property is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

1005 S Sixth Street
Constructed in 1925 Georgian Revival

Constructed in 1925, the Georgian is an elegantly detailed, privately developed apartment building on the edge of the University of Illinois campus. The building’s design was influenced by the significant campus plan and building campaign at the University in the 1920s. The building was developed (the architect and builder are unknown) by Roger F. Little, who was at that time, in the middle of his seven two-year terms as a representative in the Illinois General Assembly. Representative Little was a three-term Majority Floor Leader and held significant influence in the Legislature. He lived one block north of the Georgian near the University of Illinois campus.

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

107 S Wright Street
Constructed in 1924 by G.A. Swenson
Vernacular (Romanesque Influences)

805-807 W Church Street
Constructed in 1923-1924
Tudor Revival

Locally Designated Commercial/Industrial Landmarks

44 E Main Street
Constructed in 1916; Harry Roberts Temple, arch. English Brothers Construction
Commercial Style with Classical Revival detailing

The Lincoln Building was built by Isaac Kuhn with his father Joseph Kuhn, the founder of Joseph Kuhn Clothiers.

This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

201 North Market Street
Constructed ca. 1870
Italianate Commercial Style

This building, in conjunction with the companion buildings at 203-205 N Market Street and the original limestone sidewalk, reflects the earliest commercial architecture remaining in downtown Champaign. Immediately in front of the building is a raised historic limestone sidewalk quarried from the Lemont-Joliet region of northeast Illinois.

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

203-205 N Market Street
Constructed ca. 1870
Italianate Commercial Style

This building, in conjunction with the companion building at 201 N Market Street and the original limestone sidewalk, reflects the earliest commercial architecture remaining in downtown Champaign. Immediately in front of the building is a raised historic limestone sidewalk quarried from the Lemont-Joliet region of northeast Illinois.

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

122 N Walnut Street
Constructed ca. 1887-1890; rear addition in 1902-1909
Romanesque Revival

106-108 S Neil Street
Constructed in 1904
Richardsonian Romanesque

106 S Neil (the original Atkinson Monument Storefront) is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Further research is needed to determine whether the 108 S Neil (formerly Price’s Paint Store) is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

346-352 N Neil Street
Constructed in 1914; Rapp and Rapp, Architects
Classical Revival exterior; French Renaissance interior

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

126-128 W Church Street
Constructed in 1913; marquee added in 1958; Lewis E. Russell, arch. Freeman & Brooks, cont.
Classical Revival

Although the theater has undergone several alterations since its original construction, it is the only local theater still in operation today.

1201 S Neil Street
Constructed in 1938; George Ramey, Architect
Art Deco

804 N Neil Street
Constructed ca. 1894 to 1909
Railroad Vernacular

112 W Hill Street
Constructed in 1897;
Richardsonian Romanesque

Locally Designated Historic Districts

A historic district is a group of buildings, properties, or sites that have been designated as historically or architecturally significant. Unlike individual designated landmarks, which only cover a single property, historic districts can include multiple properties. The City of Champaign has two locally designated historic districts. There are currently no districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, although several of the City’s neighborhoods (eg. Champaign Sesquicentennial Neighborhood, Clark Park Neighborhood, Davidson Park, Greencroft) are potentially eligible for designation.

The district consists of seven structures located west of the Illinois Central Railroad Tracks, north of University Avenue and east of Walnut Street. Contributing buildings include:

The Illinois Central Railroad Station
116 N Chestnut Street
Constructed in 1924 Beaux Arts

Old Depot
320 N Chestnut Street
Constructed in 1899; moved to currently location in 1923
Railroad Vernacular

ICRR Freight Station
213 N Walnut Street
Built between 1915 and 1924
Railroad Vernacular

Other contributing buildings include the Heating Plant, Shed Buildings and Water Tower.

1-8 Villard Court
Constructed in 1927; Walter J. Villard cont.
Spanish Revival

This historic district is an early example of a ‘Bungalow Court,’ a form of development that became popular in the 1920s. The development provides an attractive and affordable ‘courtyard lifestyle’ owner-occupied housing. The development type also accommodated rental housing that did not have the negative image of higher density housing options. Additionally, the Spanish Revival style of the development is uncommon in the upper Midwest.

Locally Designated Institutional Landmarks

102 N Neil Street
Built in 1937; George Ramey, arch.
Art Deco

The property is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

301 N Randolph Street
Built in 1905; James Knox Taylor, arch.
Neoclassical

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

203 W Park Street
Built in 1921; Howard C. Crane, Kenneth Franzheim, & George Ramey, arch.
Italian Renaissance Revival, Spanish Revival

This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Platted in 1854;
Recreation Uses begin in 1966;
Named “West Side Park” in 1918

The lands that now comprise West Side Park were platted by John White, Jeffrey Farnham and Nathan Clark in 1854. The plat included lands for the park as well as residential lots surrounding the park. The residential lots were marketed as prime locations facing onto the park. The park, originally named White’s Park, was donated to the City on March 10, 1854. Originally comprising 15 acres, the land was the first public space in Champaign. The City used the park as a source of revenue for the first 12 years after its donation by renting the land as pasture and by selling park grass.

The fee for livestock grazing was 35/month. In 1866, livestock grazing ceased and the park was opened up for recreational uses. Trees were planted and in 1899, the “Prayer for Rain” sculpture, the fountain, paved pathways and a bandstand were erected. The fountain was used for swimming and the bandstand held concerts and served as a venue for speakers. The main grassy areas were used as meeting places for sewing circles, bible clubs, the American Legion and other community groups. In 1918, the park’s name changed officially to West Side Park.

In the 1950s and 60s, the park was the site of community involvement and dispute as proposals to use the parkland for downtown parking and a post office relocation threatened its existence. The bandstand fell into disrepair and was removed in 1964. However, the park continued to be used through the 1970s for peace rallies and recreational activity. In 1976, a time capsule was buried and is to be opened in 2076. West Side Park continues to be enjoyed to this day for both active and passive recreation. The park has always and continues to be one of the most recognizable places in Champaign, and has significant value as part of the historical and cultural heritage of the City.

Located in West Side Park
Designed and installed in 1899 by Edward Kemeys

The first example of public art in Champaign. Kemeys (1843-1907) is an internationally renown artist who received national acclaim for his ability to sculpt animal figures. Kemeys displayed his work through the country and abroad throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The Chicago World’s Fair and Colombian Exposition in 1893 highlighted Kemeys’ work and provided further international exposure for the artist. His commissions included the “Bronze Lions” at the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago, “Wolves” in Fairmount Park, Pennsylvania and “Still Hunt” in Central Park, New York. Kemeys work rarely include human figures, therefore the “Prayer for Rain” is one of the artists more unusual works.

NW Corner of Springfield Avenue and Second Street
Built in 1860.

In 1859, the citizens of Urbana organized a railroad company to build a rail line connecting Urbana with the Illinois Central Railroad. The rail line crossed open prairie between the Urbana Courthouse and the Illinois Central Depot and the Doane House. This little stone arch bridge was completed in the spring of 1860 to carry the tracks over the Boneyard. Although the grading was done and the bridge constructed in 1860, the track was not laid until the spring of 1863, but was used only for freight until 1870. The passenger fare was 10 cents. In 1901, the little line was electrified and rerouted. The Stone Arch Bridge still straddles the Boneyard Creek in a small park maintained by the Champaign Park District.

This historic bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

500 E Park Street
Built in 1908
Romanesque Revival

National Register of Historic Places

There are several properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places that are not designated as local landmarks. The National Register does not protect these properties from alterations or demolition, but the City’s Historic Preservation Commission is involved in reviewing and approving the nominations.

310 E John Street
Built in 1925; Ralph W. Varney, arch.
Tudor Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

508 E Armory Avenue
Built in 1923; Charles Harris and Lyle V. DeWitt, arch.
Georgian Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

1108 S First Street
Built in 1928; Royer, Danely & Smith Architects
English Arts & Crafts; French Eclectic Influences

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

219-225 N Neil Street
Built ca. 1871; Destroyed by fire on November 7, 2008
Italianate

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C.

202 E Daniel Street
Built in 1912; Frederick J. Klein & Almon W. Stoolman
Neoclassical

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

306 W Church Street
Built in 1896; Julius A. Schweinfurth, arch.
Neoclassical

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C.

102 E University Avenue
Built ca. 1850
Pre-Civil War Commercial

This National Register Landmark is the oldest commercial building in Champaign County.  It is now home to the Champaign County History Museum.

313 E John Street
Built in 1906; E.G. Oldefest, arch.
Tudor Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

312 E Armory
Built in 1926; Leonard Stuebe, arch.
Tudor Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

41 E University Avenue
Built in 1913; Joseph Royer, arch. Wm McKinley, builder.
Commercial

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.

17 E University Avenue
Built in 1915; Spencer & Temple, arch. English Bros. Construction
Classical Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

1110 S Second Street
Built in 1929
French Eclectic

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

212 E Daniel Street
Built in 1911; Archie H. Hubbard and Almon W. Stoolman, arch.
Italian Renaissance Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

900 W Park Street
Built in 1927; George Ramey, arch. English Brothers Const.
Georgian Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C.

309 E Chalmers Street
Built in 1922; Howard Van Doren Shaw, arch. English Brothers Const.
English Revival

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

212 E Daniel Street
Built in 1907; Dean & Dean, arch. A.W. Stoolman, builder
Craftsman; Prairie Influences

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and Criterion C.

1003 W Church Street
Built in 1927; Frederick Squires, arch.
Arts & Crafts Influence

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C.

55 Main Street
Built in 1890
Commercial Style

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C.