Located upstream from Peoria on the Illinois River, Chillicothe is a town that could have a lot of potential.
It has a beautiful downtown, with well-preserved storefronts and a short walk down to the broad lakes and rivers of the valley.
But the downtown is deserted; the town sold its soul, and allowed a giant gash through the middle of it, when the state highway was widened, and autocentric development split the town in two.
The Art-Deco movie theater is still in business; many small towns have shuttered theirs.
This beautiful Gothic Revival cottage shows the variety of styles common throughout the town in between the river and highway.
Then there’s this wild Italianate mansion that looks like it either got converted into a funeral home or restaurant at some point. There’s a ridiculous extension on the back that looks like it’s from the early 1970s.
2 Comments Add yours
I wonder if anybody thought, at the time it was built, how peculiar and how completely incongruous the one-story extension to that grand manse looked. Was there no one to object? Did it seem just a normal thing? A run-of-the-mill workable solution? Because, oh boy, what an eyesore it is now! It’s so visually senseless that it’s almost funny and endearing. Almost.
No, I take it back. it’s god-awful.
It is intriguing, isn’t it? If one were to so totally destroy the beauty of that house, why not just simply start from scratch? Why add a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend?”