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Neighbors of Kane County

St. Charles shows off its historic preservation in the 2016 America in Bloom Program

Jun 28, 2016 11:40AM ● By Neighbors Magazines
Along with focusing on beautiful landscapes, the America in Bloom program celebrates communities that embrace their history and work to actively preserve it. St. Charles enjoys deep, historical roots that are nurtured and kept alive through thoughtful preservation.

“Honoring our history is a big part of who we are as a community,” said 5th Ward Alderman and America in Bloom Committee Member Maureen Lewis. “We regularly celebrate milestone anniversaries, are fortunate to have an active History Museum that fosters awareness of the city’s unique history, and have a Historic Preservation Commission and ordinances in place to protect historic sites.”

There are 42 designated historic landmarks throughout the city. When the program judges tour St. Charles in July, they will be treated to many sites of local historical significance. Some highlights from the Community Profile document submitted for the America in Bloom program include:

City, Park District & Community Organizations
  • St. Charles History Museum, 215 E. Main St., is located in the fully renovated McCornack Oil Company building, which operated as a gas station from 1928 until 1990.
  • The St. Charles Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St. which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by architect R. Harold Zook and built in 1940.
  • The 1840s-built Jones Law Office was relocated in 2014 to an area in Langum Park on Rt. 25 known as Camp Kane because it once served as training grounds for Civil War soldiers.
  • The St. Charles Park District rebuilt the 1892 Pottawatomie Park Pavilion, 8 North Ave., to match its original design.
Several businesses are located in restored buildings:
  • Batavia Enterprises, Inc. repurposed the former Dukane building and former Shelby School, 210 S. 5th St., building into offices.
  • Doc Morgan Inc. rehabbed the former St. Charles Post Office, 108 S. 2nd St., into office space.
  • Nuovo Italia restaurant, 18 N. 4th St., is in the former St. Patrick Church, built in the early 1850s.
  • The Filling Station Pub & Grill, 300 W. Main St., is a converted gas station.
  • Century Corners district, 2nd & Cedar avenues, features shops and restaurants in repurposed Victorian houses.
  • Fox Island Square, 1 W. Illinois St., is a retail and office development in a restored manufacturing facility.
Many residential homes are of historic significance:
  • The 1836 Hunt House, 304 Cedar Avenue, is the oldest brick house in St. Charles.
  • The Raymond Judd House, 309 S. 6th Avenue, was built in 1878 and is the only Mission-Style house in St. Charles.
  • A number of Sears kit houses were built in St. Charles between 1908 and 1940.