Springfield, Ohio – October 2020 – Architecture at the End of the Road

In the 1800s Springfield was known as the City at the End of the Road, since the National Road ended there. Eventually it was extended and most people kept going, bypassing Springfield. Still it grew into a medium sized city with about 100,000 people in the area.

As with most Ohio cities of this size, the buildings tend to be older; built during Springfield’s heyday. This former church is now a community center.

This mural celebrates Springfield’s entertainment history. It covers the entire 6 floors of the back of the Regent Theater.

The side of the YMCA has another great mural.

The former city hall now houses the Clark County Heritage Center. Completed in 1890 the clock at the top must be adjusted manually during the spring and fall time changes.

Ironically despite the fact it was built to house the clock, it was 34 years before they had an actual working one – prior to the it just had a clock face painted on.

As usual I was on the lookout for ghost signs, this one on a building with a perfectly symmetrical, but sketchy looking, fire escape.

The Clark County Literacy Coalition is located in the former Warder Public Library building. It’s patron was from local industrialist Benjamin Warder in 1890. Warder made his money with the Champion farm machinery company, later becoming International Harvester.

The building is built of Ohio sandstone with Worcester brownstone trim, and a fantastic red slate roof.

The view across the street of St Raphael Church is framed by the main entrance’s archway.

Situated on a small hill, St Raphael is very prominent on the skyline of the city.

It is 156 steps to reach the top of the 184′ tower, but much easier to send the drone up for a closer view.

We leave Springfield with three great advertising signs – two old signs – one ghost signs, one in perfect condition, along with a great Big Boy!

Mansfield, Ohio – September 2020 – Surprising Interesting Architecture

Mansfield, Ohio is another old industrial city, where much of the industry has left. Mansfield, unlike many of those towns, has managed to keep much of their downtown buildings in use and in excellent condition.

We start with an impressive old house that is currently undergoing restoration – it will be grand when finished.

St Peters Catholic Church

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building

The tallest building in town – the Farmers Bank Building

This building dates from 1926.The upper level cornices are very detailed.

Mansfield is very proud that the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed in the area, including Central Park.

Around this nice space are a couple of Art Deco style buildings.

We end our tour with a number of restored buildings along North Main Street.

Eastern Ohio Towns – August 2020 – Architecture Along the National Road

The final posting on the National Road day is of architecture in the towns and small cities along the way. Much like in Wheeling, there is both nicely restored and the delightfully appealing vacant buildings.

Every county has restored their historic courthouse – could be a theme for a posting of it’s own in the future – the 88 courthouses of Ohio.

St Clairsville, Ohio

Morrisville, Ohio

Cambridge, Ohio

Zanesville, Ohio

Wheeling, West Virginia – August 2020 – Architecture

Wheeling, West Virginia is typical of a number of cities in the Ohio River Valley and on into Pennsylvania – it has had a population drop for decades.

Peaking out at about 62,000 people, the city now has about 25,000, which is less than lived there in 1880. As a result there are a number of old buildings, many vacant.

Beautifully restored, or interestingly vacant, it makes for great photography. In addition there are more ‘ghost signs’ in Wheeling that anywhere I have ever seen.

Mt Vernon, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Knox County

The tour of Central Ohio counties continues with Knox County, with more photography approaching abstract.

For a classic car find the ultimate is to find a ‘barn car’. Basically a car someone owned then stored it in a barn for 40 years forgetting about it. The result is an original condition ‘gem’.

Look closely you will see a 1960s Chevy tucked into the side barn.

The small town of Gambier is home to Kenyon College. This small college has produced a number of famous people including President Rutherford B Hayes, Paul Newman and others.

Most of the buildings have a strong Gothic and Romanesque look.

Nearby Mt Vernon has a couple of well restored train stations, including the one below that serves as a (currently closed) visitor center.

A great stone bridge with a ghost sign on an old building is just across the river from the visitor center.

Aerial Foundation Park is on the grounds of a former glass factory, with some remains of the buildings left behind as art.

A perfect red barn with the flags flying in the breeze.

Just across the county line into Delaware County is the small town of Kilbourne. While most of the town appears to be abandoned it is making a comeback as someone has purchased the block and is in the process of restoring. It appears it will take some time to finish.

Newark, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Licking County

Today’s tour is Licking County. The unusual name comes from the proliferation of ‘Salt Licks’ that were in the area when it was settled by Europeans. Salt Likes are a natural occurrence that wildlife used to gain critical minerals.

While many of the barn photos on earlier postings were dilapidated, but today’s is in excellent condition.

The small town of Granville is home to Denison University. It is a liberal arts college that attract students from out of state.

Swasey Chapel sits high on a hill above town.

Next door is Swasey Observatory. Apparently Swasey gave you both the virtual view of the heavens as well as the physical.

The Doane Administration building.

Newark is home to a number of large earthworks. The Hopewell Native Americans were prolific mound builders.

The photo below shows the Octagon Mound. In the early 1900s this area was sold to a group who built a golf course around the mounds.

The Ohio Historical Society owns the land now, and is in the process of evicting the golf course to return it to it’s original state.

The nearby Great Circle Earthworks is one of the largest in the world.

Interestingly it is restricted airspace so the drone wouldn’t go into the circle for a photo.

Newark is known as ‘Mound City’.

The area around the courthouse square has a number of historic buildings.

Chicago – History Through Maps and Photographs – Part 1 The World Fairs

As we continue to be restricted to any travel the ‘virtual travel’ series is continuing with some history. This posting will detail the history of Chicago through maps and photographs, and take a look at what it looks like now.

 

In 1840 when New York City already had over 300,000 people, Chicago was just starting as a town with just a few thousand. By 1860 is was in the top 10 with over 100,000, and just 30 years later there was 1.1 million people and Chicago was ‘The Second City’, doubling in population from 1880 to 1890.

 

Celebrating Chicago through World’s Fairs

It was around this time that Chicago decided to make it’s presence known on the world stage by hosting a World’s Fair. Local leaders lobbied hard to land the right to host this fair with the federal government, winning out over New York, Washington and St Louis.

The site chosen, Jackson Park, provided the 600 acres required. The lead architect was the famed Daniel Burnham, who was a proponent of the ‘City Beautiful’ movement.

While most of the buildings were designed and built to be temporary, there are a few that remain to this day.

With all of the buildings built in a neo-classical design and painted the same color, it became known as The White City.

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Getting to the Fair

With the incredible growth of the city from the end of the Civil War to 1890, Chicago’s transit struggled to keep up. Initially private companies had built horse drawn trolleys downtown. In 1892 the first of the famed El’s was completed from 39th Street (Pershing Road) to the Loop. The next year the Chicago and South Side Elevated Railway extended this to the fair site at Jackson Park.

The map below dates from the 1930s but clearly shows the line going south before turning left towards the lake, ending at Jackson Park. (Red Lines denote the El). This company failed not long after the fair ended because there was not enough ridership to maintain financial stability, being sold under foreclosure.

Of note this line was originally not electrified, the coaches were pulled by an engine.

el 1893

 

The Chicago History Center has one of the original cars on display.

2019 02 17 106 Chicago History Center

 

Green Line Train today

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Also note the Midway Plaisance connecting Washington Park and Jackson Park (Green strip on map between the parks). This area was the Entertainment section of the park (more on this below).

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Today the Green Line takes a very similar route, although the spur towards the lake only goes to Cottage Grove Avenue, and the southernmost branch is gone.

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As noted in the photo description this is the entrance at the Midway Plaisance.

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The map detail shows some of the highlights of this area, including the famed Ferris Wheel. While there had been a wooden wheel built in Atlantic City in 1891, but it burned down the next year.

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Ferris’s wheel was to be Chicago’s answer to Paris’s Eiffel Tower. It was massive – 264 feet high, with a capacity of 2,160 passengers. So renown was this feature that for many years Ferris Wheel’s were known as ‘Chicago Wheels’

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Today Chicago’s Navy Pier has one that, while impressive, is shorter than the original.

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The Midway Plaisance today serves as a park area next to the University of Chicago. There are a few reminders of the fair.

 

 

The grounds and buildings were magnificent.

 

 

The Palace of Fine Arts was one of the few buildings built to remain after the fair.

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It serves today as the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

2017 12 27 22 Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

 

 

The Statue of the Republic Was the Centerpiece of the Basin.

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While no longer surrounded by water it is one of the few remaining structures from the fair.

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But Chicago had a second chance at a World’s Fair just 40 years later, when they hosted the Century of Progress, which ran from May 1933 until October 1934, taking the winter off.

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But the city, and world, has had significant change since 1893.

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The Auto Club sponsored ‘Routes’ with fair themed names for automobile travelers to come to the city. In addition they sponsored ‘Motor Villages’, campgrounds and motels on the outskirts of town,.

 

 

Despite the introduction of the automobile, train travel was still the primary way to get to Chicago.

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This Conoco map shows an Illinois Central Railway Station at the entrance to the fair.

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In addition to the station at the fairgrounds entrance, there were another 6 train stations downtown, including the commuter rail stations.

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Today there are 3, two for the commuter rail and Union Station, and even that station is just a portion of what it was.

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Union Station is still very nice, but this grand space above was torn down in 1969.

2019 02 14 37 Chicago Union Station

2019 02 14 17 Chicago Union Station

 

 

Once you were in town the El or streetcar network would take you to where you needed to go.

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El to Fair

 

Including directly to the Fair.

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Welcome to the Century of Progress World’s Fair entrance.

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The skyride took passengers from the main entrance on Columbus Drive to the lake shore. In this photo the Field Museum and the skyline of downtown is clearly visible.

One of the features of the 1933 fair compared to 1893’s is that it was essentially downtown, whereas the Columbian Exposition was a couple of miles south of downtown.

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The 1930s was the height of the Art Deco movement (a favorite of mine), and the advertising for the fair highlighted this.

 

 

The industrialists of the day had major exhibits. GM even built an assembly line.

 

You could see the homes of tomorrow.

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After the fair an investor purchased the homes and moved them by barge to nearby Indiana, and placed them along the lake shore as an attraction to the community he was building.

Time was tough on the homes, but over the last 20 years or so the state of Indiana has sponsored a program where you can lease them for $1 with the stipulation you fix them up (which costs $1m +). The results are fantastic.

2016 10 15 128 Indiana Dunes Century of Progress Homes

2016 10 15 94 Indiana Dunes Century of Progress Homes

 

 

Many Chicago landmarks were part of the fair including Adler Planetarium

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as well as the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

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Chicago has always used their lake shore for the public’s enjoyment, never more so than during the two World’s Fairs. Part 2 of this series in a few days will focus more on the development of the transportation in the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Prairie Provinces

I have been fortunate enough to have been in all 50 states, and all but 2 provinces of Canada – Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Today’s visit takes us there (obviously all photos will be from the Internet).

 

Manitoba

 

Manitoba is home to 1.4 million people, most of which live near Winnipeg. The city has long, cold winters with November through March all having average HIGHS below freezing (32 f/0 c). It is listed as the second sunniest city in Canada, so you have that going for you.

Why The Forks in Winnipeg has it all this winter - Blog Viarail

 

But eventually it does thaw out!

Winnipeg

2019 Winnipeg Food Truck Guide | Peg City Grub | Tourism Winnipeg

 

It has a very diverse economy, with no one industry being dominate.

Packers to play in Canada: How much it will cost and places to go ...

What does the future hold for development in Winnipeg? - Winnipeg ...

 

It is the capital of the province, so government is big business.

File:Manitoba Legislative Building.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Winnipeg has the highest population of aboriginal people in all of Canada. The city is 12% Native Canadian

Annual Festivals & Events | Tourism Winnipeg

 

 

 

The small, far northern town of Churchill each fall has a migration of polar bears pass through town as they migrate from their summer home to their winter home.

Why this town on the edge of the world is the greatest place to ...

 

Tours are apparently very popular

Northern winter safari to see polar bears, northern lights in ...

Churchill Sunday Photo - Polar Bears | Churchill Polar Bears

 

 

 

Riding Mountain National Park is also in Northern Manitoba, just not nearly as far north.

Riding Mountain National Park closed to visitors over long weekend ...

 

It is known for it’s bison

File:Bison herd - Lake Audy - Riding Mountain National Park.JPG ...

 

 

As well as the moose

BULL MOOSE, RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – Lone Pine Photo

 

 

 

Our final stop – an Indiana Jones nightmare – is the Narcisse Snake Dens. Tens of thousands of red sided garter snakes reside here during the winter before migrating to a nearby swamp.

Narcisse Snake Dens – Gimli, Manitoba - Atlas Obscura

 

Narcisse Snake Dens Update Page!

 

 

Let’s move westward to Saskatchewan.

 

Mining is the largest industry in the province, whereas the finance and insurance industry makes up the largest white collar sector.

As the Guess Who sang, it is time for ‘Running Back to Saskatoon’.

 

Saskatoon is the largest city with a population of nearly 300,000. The population is fairly diverse.

Much like Winnipeg it is bitterly cold in the winter.

 

But it too eventually thaws out.

Welcome to Saskatoon | Hotels, Restaurants, & Things To Do

 

 

For a city of it’s size it has an excellent collection of architecture.

 

 

 

 

 

Regina is the 2nd largest city in the province. It is the provincial capital.

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The Prince Edward Theater is a classic old hall.

 

 

The First Nations University has incorporated a tepee into the building design.

 

 

But our prairie time has come to an end, time to move further west to Alberta tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Quebec

Bienvenue au Québec

 

 

2019 07 30 71 Ottawa - Copy

 

Quebec is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas, and nearly as large as Alaska, stretching from the USA border to past the Arctic Circle, with nearly all the people living within 100 miles of the American border.

With French being the primary language it truly feels like you have arrived in Europe, only it looks ‘North American’. I have always enjoyed visits to Quebec and look forward to going back.

 

Quebec City is the capital of the province. It is one of the oldest towns in North America, having been first settled in 1535, and founded as a town in 1608.

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Nearby is Montmorency Falls, one of the largest volume waterfalls on the continent.

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Canyon Saint Anne is another impressive natural setting, with a series of waterfalls dropping over 200′ through the canyon.

2016 09 09 49 Canyon Sainte Anne PQ

 

 

 

Pohenegamook is a small town on the Maine border, where some houses literally are sitting in both countries.

2016 09 09 27 Pohenegamook PQ

 

 

Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world.

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Old Montreal was the original setting for the town. Today it is the tourist center.

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2019 07 31 340 Montreal

 

 

Montreal is home to a number of impressive cathedrals.

 

 

Parc Jean Drapeau is on a couple of islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River. It is home to, among other things, the Formula 1 racetrack. It is easily accessible via the Metro.

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2011 05 28 Jill Road Trip Day 3 12

 

 

The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest in the world.

 

 

Montreal was host to the 1976 Olympics.

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Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos until left town to move to Washington DC

 

 

The city has a great collection of architecture.

 

Au revoir du Québec, c’est parti pour l’Ontario