Urbana's Downtown Historic District Tour

An IL-APA Mobile Workshop

Urbana's Downtown Historic District Tour

Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States

Created By: Urbana Planning Division

Tour Information


This walking tour will highlight many of the properties of the Downtown Urbana Historic District, our newest National Register listing. You will learn how the city collaborated with local business owners to establish a district that is bringing cultural and economic benefits to the area. We will stroll from the under-renovation Hotel Royer, past cinemas-turned-galleries, banks-turned-restaurants, and post offices-turned-community centers. We’ll finish at a foundry-turned-microbrewery, next to Boneyard Creek Crossing, Urbana’s Jewel of the Boneyard. See you there!

Kevin Garcia, Marcus Ricci and Kat Trotter, planners at the City of Urbana, will be leading the walking tour of downtown, with special guests at the featured locations.

Historic District Designation was not possible without numerous people and groups, including but not limited to, Alice Novak, University of Illinois Urban and Regional Planning Department, and the City of Urbana Historic Preservation Commission.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

This modernist brick-and-concrete structure is the earliest surviving enclosed shopping center in Illinois, and was designed in 1964 by Victor Gruen, one of the most influential retail architects and planners of the twentieth century. It al... Read more
The Urbana-Lincoln Hotel is located at the southwest corner of South Broadway Avenue and West Elm Street, at 209 South Broadway Avenue. It was designed by the famous Urbana architect Joseph Royer in the Tudor Revival style and had a grand o... Read more
The Urbana Free Library is located near the intersection of Race Street and Green Street. The two-story, limestone building was designed by the Urbana architect Joseph Royer in the Beaux-Arts style in 1918. The original east entrance has la... Read more
The United States Post Office is located at the southeast corner of South Broadway Avenue and East West Elm Street, at 202 South Broadway. It was designed by Oscar Wenderoth in the Classical Revival style. The two-story, tan brick structure... Read more
The Nathan H. Cohen Building is located at the corner of West Main and North Race Streets, and covers 132 and 136 West Main Street. It is an example of Classic Revival design and attributed to famous Urbana architect Joseph Royer, built of ... Read more
The Courier Building was designed in 1903 by Joseph Royer, and was originally home to The Urbana Courier Company newspaper. It is two stories of red brick with limestone trim, with a shed roof and parapet. The left/south bay of a four-bay f... Read more
106 North Race Street, or Rose Bowl Tavern, was designed by the Urbana architect Joseph Royer in the Beaux-Arts style, and was likely being his first concrete block structure. The original tenant was the United States Post Office until it m... Read more
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