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Artifacts with Tag :: Public Square
Built in 1891, The Patton Block building has been a staple of downtown Monmouth for over 120 years. The building was named after Robert S. Patton, a successful farmer who had an eye for business, who invested a total of approximately $375,000 in today's standards to build the state-of-the-art building that would house countless tenants over the years ranging from bakers and jewelers to doctors and even a business school.
The County Courthouse has seen many changes since the first one was built in nearly 180 years ago. According to Carol Clark, the first courthouse built in town was also the second log cabin in town and was located at the corner of North Main St. and Archer Avenue. Construction started for the second courthouse on March 7, 1835, but it was determined that a better building was needed and it was never completed. The third building, which stood in the front yard of the current courthouse, was completed in 1841 and served for 54 years until the current courthouse was finished in 1895. Since then, the courthouse has become a staple of Monmouth's public square with only one major change (the removal of the clock tower) in nearly 120 years of service.
In 1831, three commissioners decided that the center of the public square would be the exact center of the town. Ever since then, the public square has been the place where politicians and celebrities as well as the every day citizen has come to socialize. But it wasn't always as scenic as it is today. Newspaper articles from the early 1850's show that many people complained about the condition of the square. It wasn't until 1862 that sidewalks were added to the area, and it was 1863 before a committee was appointed for the sole purpose of improving the town square. In 1881, due to heavier traffic, a traffic circle was implemented as well iron railings that functioned both as a boundary to the newly formed park in the center as well as a hitching rail for horses. Improvements continued with the addition of arc lamps and paved brick streets around the square in 1889. In 1890, an 18 foot tall, cast-iron, fountain was placed in the center of the square surrounded by a 20 foot pool. Unfortunately, due to an inadequate water supply, the fountain was removed during World War I, but in 2001, the square was rededicated and plans for a new fountain were made.
This is not the good one.
Stone buildings were very expensive and this form of architecture was the most expensive compared to others.
The architecture of Warren County Courthouse is Richardsonian, which is also known as Richardsonian Romanesque Style.
This form of architecture was inspired by the ancient Romans, but the architect Henry Hobson Richardson put his own unique taste into this form of architecture. Churches in the Middle East had this type of architecture and this style was then incorporated in the American churches.
The Richardsonian Romanesque style was then also used on public buildings, commercial buildings and then residential homes.
Richardsonian architecture became more popular around 1870.
This style is described as infrequent and sculpted shapes. The buildings that had this form of architecture tended to have a square shape called Ashlar, with rough exposed faces. Roofs were often round and polygonal towers.
Buildings tended to be built of solid masonry stone and mixed with bricks. Limestone and sandstone were also used.
The Warren County Courthouse originally had a taller center tower with a Seth Thomas clock, but was later removed.
The courthouse also had a statue of Lady Liberty on the front gable, but it was blown down in a windstorm in 1895.
The courthouse has a variety of services for the community.
On the first floor one can do small claims, child support, and bookkeeping.
On the east side of the 2nd floor of the Courthouse is the Warren County Clerks Office.
The recorders office is located south or right of the elevator.
The election office is located north or left of the elevator.
All other Civil Divisions and the Criminal Division are located on the third floor office.
95 Public Square was originally built as a Pabst Brewery owned pub, Blue Ribbon Hall. This pub was said to be home to the longest bar in Illinois at the time which ran from the front of the building to the back. The concrete emblem is still above the door behind the current Kellogg's sign.
During the same time the bar was in operation, the second floor was occupied by a cigar factory. While women were not allowed in the pub, they were the main employees of the factory where they rolled cigars six days a week.
The third floor of this building was a sort of banquet hall where dances and receptions were held.
Bowman Shoe Store was opened in 1939 by Allen and Algot Bowman. Throughout the years, the name changed between Bowman Shoe Store and Bowman Brothers Shoe Store, depending on the ownership at the time.
Many citizens of Monmouth during the time of Bowman Shoe Store may remember having their feet X-Rayed in a fluoroscope, which was used to determine how well each foot fit into the shoe. It was a common fixture in many shoe stores across the country between the 1930s and 1950s.
Bowman Shoe Store was a common place for young children to get their school and church shoes, which were often the only two pairs of shoes they owned. In all, the Bowmans owned 17 different shoe stores, most in small towns similar to Monmouth.
Bowman Shoe Store remained an integral part of the Monmouth community until its closing in 1995.
This information is now on the title page
The Warren County Virtual Museum
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