Architect: Joseph Royer Year Built: 1927 Architectural Style: Tudor Revival
135 W. Main is a prominent two-story public building along Urbana’s Main Street which was designed by none other than Urbana’s leading architect Joseph Royer. The building was built in 1927 in the Tudor Revival style and was known as the Knowlton-Bennett drugstore. “Bennett Building” is inscribed in the arch above the entrance on the west side. The building has a rectangular footprint and an overall horizontal emphasis. Brown brick piers vertically divide the façades while cream colored glazed terra cotta decoration spans horizontally between each pier. Intricate terra cotta decoration, called strapwork, decorates the façade. The Bennett building sits on a limestone base and arched openings surround the ground story. There are segmental arched canopies on the west façade which sit above large rectangular storefront windows and there are wide segmental arched canopies flanked by two basket handle arched canopies on the North and South façades. The arched openings are hooded with terra cotta arches topped with a decorative keystone, called a label stop. The arched windows are supported by thin, spiraling columns. The second story windows are rectangular and are lined in a horizontal band around the façade and are divided into several smaller panes. A terra cotta frieze with X shapes divides the first and second stories. Decorative colorful shields fill each panel along the cornice of the building. All of these Tudor Revival features add to the eccentricity of this architectural gem.
The Bennet Building replaced an Italiante structuring dating to 1876. Originally Royer was comissioned to renovate and remodel original building However, it was later decided that the Italianate structure should be demolished. Construction was set to commence in 1916, but was delayed due to World War I. After the way, the death of Everett Knowleton in 1920 further delayed construction. Eventually construction began in 1925. Knowltown-Bennett Drugs closed in 1971 after a century as an on-site drug store.