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Anheuser Busch/Kickapoo Building, Peoria

2015-08-15 10.21.34

Completed in 1911, the Kickapoo Building was a local tavern associated with Anheuser-Busch, back when breweries were still allowed to own saloons. Designed by Albert Keifer and constructed by John Hartwig, the building has seen new life as a coffee shop on the near end.

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Unfortunately, at the other end of the “flatiron,” there is a sorry intrusion of a carport, with a still operating dry cleaners.

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As evidenced by the orphaned lintel up above, this carport was almost certainly not original.

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What a great building. Now if only the acres after acres, and blocks after blocks of parking lots surrounding the area would be redeveloped, the Kickapoo Building might actually anchor a neighborhood again one day.

2015-08-15 10.23.23

3 Comments

  1. This is a sort of repurposing that’s certainly new to me, and I dare say it’s quite unusual. I don’t think it’s a failure despite some of the off-putting details and funky compromises. The surprise was to see how old the automobile access was — back to the 1930s, at least. That’s clear from the documents you linked to. Maybe in the future, as the building needs other modifications and updates, somebody with a better sense of proportion can solve the problem of the windows and doors more gracefully.

  2. According to the National Register of Historic Places form, that carport area was originally closed in, like you thought. It states that section was opened up in the 1930s and was originally a gas station. There is also a copy of a photograph showing what the building looked like originally.

  3. THIS building’s upper level has, just, recently bee converted back to residential units. Unfortunately, being located near the backside of our downtown that’s still ‘ transitional ‘ and somewhat blighted doesn’t help. But, I’m holding out hope as more downtown revitalization progress emerges that it’s surroundings will change. A lot of projects are ‘ on hold ‘ , until Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. starts constructing it’s mammoth (new) 31-acre global headquarters campus near the riverfront. Then, because it’s ‘ footprint ‘ is small compared to St. Louis, I expect more widespread development throughout our downtown.

    Until then, the ‘ smart money ‘ is getting properties prepared for a big influx of millenials and hipsters seeking downtown residences. The Warehouse District, which as you already know, is much further southwest from this (Anheuser-Busch) Kickapoo Building. It’s increasingly becoming the hip and up-and-coming area, as more mixed-use development and urban attractions emerge or relocate there. Yet, this charming old building has managed to ‘ roll with the times ‘ continuing to re-invent itself while having it’s historic elements preserved.

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