Urbana's 100 Most Significant Buildings List Finalized
The results are in. Using your nominations, the Urbana Historic Preservation Commission has finalized a list of the 100 Most Significant Buildings in Urbana. The buildings range from a modest cottage built around 1850 to a house with an uncanny likeness to a UFO built in 1954 for a jazz musician; from a bungalow that was ordered out of a Sears catalogue circa 1920 to the mansions of some of Urbana’s founding fathers. The list includes many of the historic buildings in our downtown—the library, the county courthouse, and many of the buildings on the 100-block of West Main Street—as well as many of the impressive fraternities and sororities that were typically built prior to World War II in eclectic styles and designed by well-known architects.
According to city planner Rebecca Bird, “This list is a revealing blueprint of the development of Urbana and is a resource for residents and visitors alike.” The next step for this project is to write a narrative for each property on the list. The narratives will be different for each building, but will include historical information as well as an architectural description. City planning staff will be sending letters to the owners of the 100 buildings asking if they have any information that might help the City with this research, such as historic photos, original blueprints, or information about prior owners. This information will then be available to the public on the City of Urbana’s website and in a printed brochure. This project was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.