Mount Airy Missionary Baptist Church

I learned an interesting story about this church and its parking lot at the southwest corner of Marcus and Maffitt in the Greater Ville neighborhood. If you look closely, it becomes obvious that the large white rectangle on the brick wall is in fact an old movie screen, and the parking lot is a former…

Central Park, Downtown Jacksonville, Illinois

Jacksonville was founded by groups of “Yankees,” from New England, many of whom were graduates of Yale University. I can’t help but think the influence of the large town commons and greens of cities such as New Haven played a part in the design of Central Park, the outsized town square of Jacksonville. The center…

Second Avenue Northeast, Independence, Iowa

Praise the Lord for Frederick J. Bandholtz and his panoramic photos of several towns around northeastern Iowa, including the downtown of Independence. Above you can see straight ahead Second Avenue Northeast, which looks much the same now as it did then. We’ll start up at the north end of the block at Second Street Northeast…

Ivory Theater, Former St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church

Founded in 1860, though the building is clearly from later in the 19th Century, St. Boniface closed in 2005 and was sold to developers who turned it into the Ivory Theater. It’s Romanesque Revival in many ways, but not compeletely. The towers have more of a Baroque Revival feel to them, and the pediment reminds…

The Vanished Theaters of Gravois Avenue

There used to be so many more theaters in St. Louis, and they’ve mostly been demolished. Take the Granada, seen above, and then look below, where the theater and its entrance have been removed and turned into a parking lot for the apartment building that originally attached to the theater. It was fairly common for…

North Side of Washington Park, Downtown Quincy, Illinois

Hampshire Street in between 4th and 5th street contains an exceptional row of Italianate buildings that are more or less well-preserved since the Nineteenth Century. Some are missing their cornices or their first floors have been altered, but for the most part, they look the same as when they were built. The Italianate style, like…

Former West Belleville Township High School

Originally opened in 1916, the old West Belleville Township High School served the entire community, before the size of the population necessitated the breaking off and creation of the East Belleville Township High School in 1966. The old West Belleville closed in 2002 with the construction of the new one on Frank Scott Parkway. A…

German House, Lafayette Square

One of the more spectacular buildings in St. Louis, the German House was the center of Teutonic culture in St. Louis for generations. Sadly, it is sitting vacant right now. It’s a huge building, and has a theater out the back, as can be seen here. The parking lot right at the corner with South…

Main Street, Between 2nd and 9th Streets, Dubuque, Iowa

Starting in the south at 2nd Street, at the Hotel Julien Dubuque, named after the founder of the City of Dubuque, we head north through the southern part of downtown on Main Street. To the east, much of the old industrial area was destroyed by a highway built in the 1960s. There was even a…