For the next several weeks, I’m going to be looking at the towns upriver from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, starting with Quincy, Illinois. It’s an interesting city, and in many ways, it is a small version of St. Louis. On the South side of the city, there is a German neighborhood, much like Dutchtown, though of course the architecture is different. It reminds me of Chicago and many other Illinois cities, as well as other major German-influenced cities such as Cincinnati.
The houses are simple, and there are churches scattered throughout the neighborhood, such as the one below. It has obviously been simplified, with a truncated spire and a front porch added in the early Twentieth Century.
Looking at satellite images, we learn what had been suspected from seeing weeds on the roof from the ground: the gabled roof that was original to the church is gone and has been replaced with a flat white rubber membrane roof. I have no idea what is going on with this old church.
There is a fair amount of demolition, such as this completely empty block, but there is still a lot of historic urban fabric left. The grass is perfect!
Simple workers’ cottages such as we see on this street below are typical of this neighborhood, which is the South Side German National Register Historic District.
There are many of these throughout the state of Illinois, but I always enjoy finding them: Gothic Revival houses such as the one seen below.
And of course, we see a familiar emblem of a St. Louis icon that clearly saw the importance of setting up a local shipping office in a city with a large enough German population to warrant shipping beer to it with its famous refrigerated railcars.
Obviously there was some sort of wood frame structure that once attached to the back of the brick building, but that has been torn down.
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As a long time reader of this blog, and resident of Quincy, I enjoyed seeing this post. I lived in the South Side German Historic District for the first 12 years of my life. The church has been vacant for as long as I can remember. The empty block was the site of the former Quincy Gaslight and Coke Company, which underwent environmental remediation ten years ago.
Ah, that explains the perfectly empty block–a former brown field site! Thanks!