Elements of Urbanism: Champaign/Urbana

July 3, 2013 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Shahid Khan, the most prominent figure that links Champaign/Urbana, Illinois to Jacksonville, proudly flies a Jacksonville Jaguars flag outside of his Flex-N-Gate corporate headquarters in Urbana. The twin cities lie less than five miles from one another, creating a close-knit community the locals refer to as “Chambana”. Both cities have maintained several of the older buildings in their downtown sectors, remodeling them into modern office buildings, condos, bars, and restaurants, which has preserved the history of the cities and helped to sustain the close feeling the communities share. They also display art statues throughout downtown. Today, Metro Jacksonville's Kelsi Hasden provides us with a brief tour of downtown Champaign and Urbana.

C11: This Summer, Maize Mexican Grill, a popular restaurant in Campustown, plans to open a second restaurant in the southern section of the former train station.

C12: www.weft.org">WEFT 90.1's, volunteer radio station where people can learn how to be radio DJs.

C13: Constructed in 1904 at 106 South Neil, the Atkinson Monument Building stands as one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Champaign. Its detailing and stonework emphasize the craftsmanship Samuel P. Atkinson wished to portray to complement his engraving business. Today it houses the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Precision Graphics Company.

C14: The Champaign City Building dates back to 1937.

C15: M2 Live, a nine-story, $40 million, mixed-use project completed in 2009, can be seen in the background.

C16: Austin's Sportswear at 12 East Main Street in downtown Champaign.

C17: The www.artheater.coop">Art Theater Co-op on Church Street opened as the Park Theatre in 1913 to a crowd od 2,400.  In 1971, the theatre swtiched from art to pornography before closing in 1986. In 1987, it was purchased and renovated to once again show true art films.

C18: The side of the Art Theater with a cityscape painted alongside the building.

C19: The former flagship location of Champaign's Robeson's Department Store.  Built in 1917, the store survived 73 years before closing around 1990. Today, the building is used as office space.

C20: A historic building on Neil Street that has been converted into office space.

C21: The www.thevirginia.org">Virginia Theatre is a live performance and movie theatre that has provided entertainment to the Champaign-Urbana community since opening its doors in 1921.

C22: A bar called the Blind Pig Company at 120 North Walnut Street. Blind Pig also operates a brewery on the alley illustrated in images C6 and C23.


C23: The Taylor Street alley, which is adjacent to the Blind Pig Brewery, complements nearby bars and restaurants.

C24: Public art dominates the Taylor Street alley.

C25: The sign of Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design at 124 North Neil Street.

C26: freestanding art in Champaign

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