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Enjoy a self-guided driving tour of Aurora’s historic districts. Go back in time to Pre-Civil War era when Illinois' second largest city was being formed. Visit the Roundhouse, Stolp Island, Central Fire Station, Auto-Row, the house made of coal and much more. Online tour information available by clicking the link to the City of Aurora's Historic Preservation page of the City's web site.
From 1908 to 1940, Sears Roebuck and Company ordered, manufactured and sold homes to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Sears homes were popular in the railroad community of Aurora, which boasts 136 authenticated properties, making Aurora one of the largest concentrations of Sears homes in the country. Take the tour - stop by the literature center at 43 W. Galena Blvd. or download an entire list of Sears Homes from the City's web site.
Leland Tower is a twenty-two story tall building located on Stolp Island in Aurora, Illinois. Leland Tower was at one point the tallest building in Illinois outside of Chicago. Stolp Island is recognized as a Historical District by the National Register of Historical Places. Leland Tower was at one time the tallest building in the world, and dominates the downtown of Aurora, dwarfing all the other buildings located there. The tower was built initially as a hotel. The Leland Hotel project was conceived in 1926 and was one of the most ambitious projects in the city's history. The project was announced by an organization known as the Aurora Building Corporation through Herbert P. Heiss of the First Illinois Company. Mr. Heiss had located and purchased the site for the proposed hotel. The building contract was awarded to the H.G. Chtistman Company, general contractors of South Bend, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan. Anker Sveere Graven and Arthur Guy Mayger were chosen to design the hotel which was planned to be one of the grandest buildings outside of Chicago.
The original 1893 schoolhouse displays hundreds of original artifacts depicting immigrant turn-of-the-century life of families, businesses, and coal mines. Original items include the jailhouse iron doors, soccer trophies and bocce balls, coal mining tools, furniture and household items, old store supplies, Illinois coal reports, maps and plats, and plenty of family memories; there is something to interest everyone.
Mr. Jackson's acclaimed works of art can be found throughout the state of Illinois. Check his website for details. One of a family of ten children growing up in the small city of Decatur, Illinois, Preston Jackson became a storyteller and an artist at an early age. In his artwork he intends to deliver information about who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed. His training is in the field of metal fabrication, both steel and foundry cast metals, as well as in painting. The materials used most often in his pieces are cast bronze, steel, and stainless steel. His work tends to be narrative in nature, with emphasis on relating the details and personalities of our past.
Visitors are invited to explore Bloomington-Normal and join in the celebration of McLean County's agricultural heritage, quilting, local history and the arts. The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail features over a dozen area barns or other farm buildings, each decorated with an 8' x 8' painted quilt square. A complete list of all participating locations is available on the Barn Quilt website. Step-on tour guides are available upon request for bus tour groups.
Midwest SOARRING (Save Our Ancestors Remains & Resources Indigenous Network Group) Foundation was formed in November of 1996. They are a Native American non-profit organization who assists with repatriation, protection of sacred sites and educates the public about Native American culture, through Pow Wows, cultural programs and environmental issues. The new Cultural Center is made possible by a lease obtained through the City of Lockport.
Step back into the 1950s in a representation of an original home with toys, dolls, books, clothes and furnishings of the era, in the first fully-planned post-World War II suburb.
Celebrating regional art in its many forms: special exhibits, performances, regional artwork gallery, photography from the historic Alfie Mueller collection.
St. James at Sag Bridge is the Oldest Church in Northern Illinois. Built by Irish immigrants who built the canal. Established in 1833, it is the sole country parish of the Archdiocese of Chicago serving a growing community of Catholics who come together to worship God through the celebration of the Eucharist and traditional devotional activities within truly unique and beautiful surroundings.
NIU Art Museum’s mission is to service the arts curriculum at NIU and to extend arts education and cultural enrichment to the community. The Museum has a permanent collection of 1,000 art pieces and also hosts visiting exhibitions. The Jack Olson Gallery is “the cornerstone of exhibition programming” that is promoted by NIU School of Art. This exhibit space brings thought provoking exhibitions to the northern Illinois community while also offering faculty and students a space to showcase their latest creative endeavors.
This museum, located in an old school building contains artifacts, memorabilia and hundreds of photographs, which depict lifestyles and the people from the early days of Franklin County. Only 10 miles southwest of Rend Lake. The museum is free to the public but they do accept donations.
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Association offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee. Open Daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 4 p.m.
A museum gallery featuring theme-based exhibits of works created by past and contemporary Illinois artist and artisans. Less than 1 mile southeast of Rend Lake.
The Fine & Performing Arts Center (FPAC) presents quality cultural programs and popular entertainment in the 600-seat Dorothy Menker Theater, 150-seat Oremus Theater and the Robert F DeCaprio art gallery.
1917 Old Finn Hall houses OnStage Gallery & Great Hall Exhibition Space with monthly art shows or historic collections & various programs. Hours: Fridays 7 - 9 p.m. & by appointment.
Culture Stock is a social venture that operates as a hub for cultural activities and community programs while serving as a used book and media re-seller. Culture Stock, located in the heart of Downtown Aurora, offers up-and-coming musicians, poets and other artists a place to display their talents. Stop in for a taste of Aurora's culture, read a good book in a cozy corner, listen to a new performer or join a language circle. Kids have events at Culture Stock too. Check their Facebook page for a Downtown Aurora cultural experience update today!
An 1836 log cabin is located next to Veteran's Park at Burnham Avenue & 166th (Heritage Drive) where our annual festival in September is held with entertainment & food. Our museum at 760 Wentworth Avenue, Calumet City, Illinois has exhibits of local interest.
DAAHA is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing with people of all ages the storied history of agriculture and its innovators within northern Illinois. Through their exhibits, educational programs, and website they hope to tell the story of DeKalb County and northern Illinois’ contribution to the world’s most important invention: Agriculture. Their organization is new and constantly evolving, so check back often for new exhibits, programs, and virtual access to our collections.
The Silkwood Inn was built in 1827 and contains furnishings and artifacts from the 1800s. A tour trough this amazing Inn includes the telling of a famous local legend about the kindness of the Silkwood family, a slave girl named Priscilla, and the Trail of Tears. The museum is free to the public but donations are accepted.
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 12:00-4:40pm; Friday: 12:00-4:30pm; or by appointment The NIU Blackwell History of Education Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting interest in the history of American education. The Blackwell has a collection items such as text books, slates, pens, inkwells, student work, and report cards. The museum also has a life-size display of a dame school.
Dating back to 1855, and built from hand-hewn oak and walnut beams cut from woods along the nearby Fox River, this structure holds the unique distinction of being Kendall County’s oldest church building. With it’s “New England-style” charm, 1899 pipe organ, and original stained glass windows, the Chapel on the Green is one of the most architecturally and historically significant structures in the county. Nestled in the heart of the city’s north side, the Chapel on the Green is located one block west of Route 47 (Bridge Street) at the northeast corner of Church and Center Streets, adjacent to the historic Town Square Park.
Barn quilts of DeWitt County is a project designed to celebrate Clinton and DeWitt County’s rich agricultural history, showcase our rural areas, promote agritourism, the arts, and create a sense of community pride. Throughout the county, vibrant, hand-painted 8’X8’ quilt blocks on ‘wooden canvases’ adorn numerous barns, making a drive through the countryside all the more enjoyable. Barn quilts are on display June through August.
Nestled in historic homes and buildings that date back to the community's roots in the 1800's, Long Grove's over 80 shops specialize in unique gifts, boutiques, antiques, clothing, exceptional art and home décor, and distinctive menus. Visitors can stroll the cobblestone walks that wind through the historic downtown and enjoy seasonal lush gardens and scenic views. And they can make it a quick trip or a day's outing, shopping and indulging their tastes with a variety of food and bakery products, cafés, and fine eating establishments. Fun and festivals throughout the year including the famous Chocolate Fest, Strawberry Fest, Apple Fest and a month of Holiday Festivities to name a few.