Buildings of Significance

The Historic Markers Program
by Jim Bateman and Tim Hartneck
Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation

What’s with those buildings that have an oval marker on them that says “CILF”?

All have been selected for markers by the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation because they meet at least one of these three criteria:

  1. Built before 1865;
  2. Association with an individual or event of local, state or national significance; and
  3. At least 50 years old and an outstanding example of an architectural style.

There are more than 145 buildings with these markers across Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. Property owners can apply for a marker by contacting the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation at cilf.peoria@gmail.com. The cost to the owner for the marker is about $35.

  

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
103 N. Richard Pryor Pl., Peoria
 

Built in 1879, this neo-Gothic style church was designed by local architect Caspar Mehler. St. Joseph’s is the oldest Catholic church building in Peoria.

 

Central Building
103 SW Adams St., Peoria

Built in 1913 for the Central National Bank, this building was designed by D. H. Burnham & Co. of Chicago. Burnham’s firm was one of several that pioneered the development of the tall steel-framed building.

 

 

Gothic-style house
717 N. First St., Chillicothe

This Carpenter Gothic style house was built as early as 1858 for Henry Nolte. The design may have been influenced by one of Alexander Jackson Downing’s books, Cottage Residences (1842) or The Architecture of Country Houses (1850)—two of the many pattern books that were available to local carpenters and builders.

 

Addison L. Tracey residence
404 N. Magnolia, Elmwood

Built for a local dry goods merchant ca. 1865, this Italianate style house features a cupola that, aside from being decorative, provided air circulation by means of convection on hot summer days.

 


Phelps Barn
Elmwood

Built in 1845 on the farm of Elmwood’s founder, William J. Phelps, this barn was a stop on the Underground Railroad. When a carved-out cross in the gable was backlit at night, it provided a signal to runaway slaves that it was safe to seek refuge or continue on their journey. The cross is still lighted today.

 

Jones-Menard house
412 E. South St., Tremont

This Greek Revival style house was built in 1845 for John Jones, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Tazewell County. It is one of the few examples of the Greek Revival style, popular from 1825 to 1860, left in the Peoria area that have not been significantly altered. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln, a frequent visitor to the house, appointed Mr. Jones Superintendent of Commercial Statistics in Washington DC. iBi

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