Created By: Pekin Public Library
To create Pekin Riverfront Park, a section of old Front Street (Pekin's "First Street") was closed off and the old Tomen Grain elevators were torn down in the fall of 2004. The new park was dedicated and formally opened on 18 Sept. 2005.
This 4-acre park is located just above the Illinois River at 121 Court Street, and offers an aesthetic view of the Illinois River. Riverfront Park features a festival plaza, event meadow, picnic grills, an water play area, water fountains, a large gazebo, a vehicular overlook parking area, a large parking lot, the Spirit of Columbia Steamboat playground with the Columbia Disaster Historical Marker, a picnic shelter, horseshoe courts, and large overlook viewing pier with a walking trail.
Prior to the construction of Riverfront Park, the stretch of Front Street on which it was built had long been dominated by towering grain elevators. By the mid-20th century there was little else on that block of Front Street, though the 1955 Pekin City Directory mentions that the International Hod Carriers Union Local No. 231 had its union hall at 110 Front Street. The same directory says the Pekin Farmers Grain Co. elevator was at 209 Front St. Just three private residences were in that block of the street in 1955.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Pekin Riverfront History