Much to our chagrin, the school in Deer Creek, Illinois, where my family had enjoyed a pancake breakfast twenty years ago, is no more. In a bizarre act, reminiscent of the destruction of the City Palace of Berlin by the Communists in the 1950’s, the sole remainder of the historic building is the front door. Honestly, I wish they had just gone ahead and torn the whole thing down if this is what they were going to do.
With the sad demise of the Stuckey’s in Goodfield I had been photographing for several years, I was pleased to discover a run-down member of the chain off of I-55 south of Springfield.
Yes, that’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of the courthouse in Metamorah. The Greek Revival courthouse is in the process of being restored.The beautiful square in front of the courthouse is a perfect setting to view the Doric colonnade, whose columns are currently stripped and awaiting new paint.The bell tower is a unique feature, as it is more English Rococo than Greek Revival.I’m always fascinated by the interiors of these buildings, as they’re often much more simple than their exteriors. Was that planned, or did they run out of money for the interior?
Famous for being one of the venues of the Lincoln-Douglass debates, Metamorah is also a quaint, if relatively small town.Dominated by the original courthouse, where Lincoln practiced law, it looks almost a little like New England; most courthouses in Illinois that I’ve seen are in the middle of the town square, not facing it.I was also impressed to see that most, if not all of the square’s storefronts are filled–a welcome sight when so many town centers have been devastated by Wal-Mart or that ugly, ubiquitous strip of stores along the nearby highway.Adlai Stevenson’s house is in town as well; it is actually quite old and indicative of architecture of the early town.
Built in the early 20th Century and now listed on the National Register, the Illinois Traction Depot in Mackinaw provided service between Peoria, Danville and St. Louis.The McKinley Bridge originally carried the railroad to St. Louis’s downtown.I like the streamlined design of the station, as well as the prominent black holes where the electrical lines no doubt attached to the station.Now a tea room, the station provides a welcome landmark on the north side of the small town.