Main Street, Galesburg, Illinois

We’ll be looking at Galesburg, Illinois for the next six days, as part of my continued examination of the cities and towns within the sphere of St. Louis’s economy. Located along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, there is still a giant railyard going through the town in a northeast-southwest orientation southeast of downtown. Main Street remains the primary business thoroughfare of Galesburg, which has a population of around 30,000 people.

Postcard Image of East Main, Early Twentieth Century

The large Bondi Building has an interesting story, coming out of the dry goods business of the two Bondi Brothers, who partnered with George Ferris–yes, that Ferris–constructing the office building in 1928 after selling their store off. Their descendant, Robert Bondi, still manages the office building.

You can watch a history of the building here.

It’s interesting in that it combines elements of the Chicago School with the Gothic Revival and even some feeling of the Art Deco.

Moving east, I get a kick out of this building being squeezed by two Modernist slipcovers. It’s been modified itself.

At the northwest corner of Seminary Street is this gem.

It’s undergoing renovation, but I can still see the stylistic influence of Chicago, which of course was linked by the railroad to Galesburg.

I was trying to figure out what’s going on with the wall facing Seminary: is the white cleaned or in the process of being tuckpointed? I don’t know.

There’s some beautiful terracotta details.

Heading back to the west, crossing over Kellogg Street where the Bondi Building is, we see some more interesting reskinning of buildings from the mid-Twentieth Century.

Overall occupancy is not bad, considering downtown is competing with the typical suburban style sprawl out by the interstate.

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