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Thread: Champaign (and a bit of Urbana), IL [Broadband Recommended]

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    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Champaign (and a bit of Urbana), IL [Broadband Recommended]

    CHAMPAIGN (and a bit of Urbana), ILLINOIS

    The twin cities of Champaign (67,500) and Urbana (37,000) -- located in East Central Illinois -- are situated fairly equidistant to Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis.



    Downtown Champaign

















    Westside Park - Champaign






    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 1867

    40,000 students


















    The major sports facilities are located in Champaign.

    Memorial Stadium - 1923 - 70,000






    Assembly Hall - 1963 - 16,800





  2. #2
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Wow!

    What a beautiful campus and even more beautiful downtown. I have only been to the western fringes of Champaign, and never got to see the beautiful downtown. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian
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    Finally, some pictures I recognize. Thanks for sharing.
    Suddenly I have the urge to do some tailgating.

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    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Wow, what a nice series of pictures of architectural buildings.

    What have influenced the development of these nice looking architectural buildings in a city that seems somewhat isolated from the rest of the States?

    Did it boom for a while and then plateaued like Galena, Ill?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Thank you all for your comments.
    Suddenly I have the urge to do some tailgating.
    Wait till next year
    What have influenced the development of these nice looking architectural buildings...
    You can find a lot of Georgian Revival and Renaissance Revival, as well as other styles on the promient campus buildings. More info here >>.
    ...in a city that seems somewhat isolated from the rest of the States?
    Do you mean isolated within the state? I wouldn't use the word isolated, it's only 2 hours to Chicago, 30-45 minutes to Danville/Decatur/Bloomington/Normal, and 10 minutes to dozens of small towns.
    Did it boom for a while and then plateaued like Galena, Ill?
    The population boomed in the 1940s (went up 70%), was strong in the 50s & 60s (up ~20% in each decade), and has been at single digit growth per decade since.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by GCT13
    The population boomed in the 1940s (went up 70%), was strong in the 50s & 60s (up ~20% in each decade), and has been at single digit growth per decade since.
    Downtown Champaign has made great strides in recent years. Didn't they close a fork of a five way intersection for a plaza adjacent to a rehabed (or new?) building? I drove by there last summer and it looked successful. I spoke with a business owner and she said downtown stores are starting to stay open in eveninegs for the first time in decades.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I really like the old movie theaters, that look like they play today's movies. Are they popular? Or has the multi-plex, stadium seating big box theater begun its takeover.

    Really neat looking cities and thanks for the pics of the stadiums!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    Nice shots, it was great to reminisce about my former Central Illinois days. The only thing I wish you would have included was Champaign's great multi-modal transit center-the intracity and campus bus systems, the intercity bus (Greyhound) and Amtrak station. It's a great example of how such facilities should be designed.

    The U of I is a great campus, with a classic campus atmosphere; unfortunately, Green Street is not one of the best "campustowns" around, certainly not among other Big Ten universities; but the "scene" is still classic Midwest big-school. I understand that Downtown Urbana has been making some changes (redeveloping the disastrous Lincoln Square Mall). The planning program at U of I is very good. The main downside to the area (besides the fact that the geography is pool-table flat) is all of the annoying Illini fans.

    Go Hawkeyes!
    SOME say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Robert Frost (1874–1963) (From Harper’s Magazine, December 1920.)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Didn't they close a fork of a five way intersection for a plaza adjacent to a rehabed (or new?) building? I drove by there last summer and it looked successful.
    This may be what you're talking about: The new building on the right opened a little over a year ago, and the intersection at the stoplight was I believe rebuilt to reduce street space and increase sidwalk space. On the side of the building not visible to the right there's a large open area that also has outdoor restaurant seating.



    Next year another building will be built on an open lot, which is great. Too many surface lots in downtown.

    I really like the old movie theaters, that look like they play today's movies. Are they popular?
    The Virginia (1921) has a sporatic schedule of movies (not first-run) on special occasions, plus theatre performances. A massive screen, a great place to see a film.

    The Virginia is the home to Roger Ebert's Film Festival held in April.

    More on the Virginia >>



    The Art (1913) now shows features with reduced distribution/foreign films. "Good Night and Good Luck" =

    More info >>



    The Orpheum (1914) had sat vacant for many years. I saw "The Empire Strikes Back" there in its first weekend. Now, thankfully it's being used as the children's science museum.

    More on the theatre's history >>



    Or has the multi-plex, stadium seating big box theater begun its takeover.
    The C-U area has two multiplexes which dominate theater-going attendance.

    The only thing I wish you would have included was Champaign's great multi-modal transit center-the intracity and campus bus systems, the intercity bus (Greyhound) and Amtrak station. It's a great example of how such facilities should be designed.
    Illinois Terminal:


    understand that Downtown Urbana has been making some changes (redeveloping the disastrous Lincoln Square Mall).
    I think a few new establishments have opened up in downtown Urbana, but still next to Campustown and downtown Champaign, Urbana is completely dead.

    I don't know exactly what's going on with Lincoln Square Mall, but the $10M redevelopment is going into the mall itself, not in mall demolition unfortunately. The owner of Lincoln Square wants it placed on some historical register or somesuch to get tax breaks. I walked thru the mall recently, the lack of people made me feel uneasy.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by GCT13
    I have seen the mothership.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ijustkrushalot's avatar
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    These photos looks familiar..

    Oh yea, thats because I TOOK IT (don't worry mods, I don't mind) the one on the left is currenly my background image... ... I didn't realize you posted here GCT, I have been thinking of doing a "Chambana" thread, but my digital camera is broken down at the moment.

    Great pics... downtown Champaign and Green Street are really turning a corner, much nicer than they were a couple years ago.

    Assembly Hall (the spaceship) is a pretty unique structure, it is the 2nd largest edge-supported concrete dome in the world, and seats 16,618 fans for basketball.

    Memorial Stadium seats just under 70,000 for football, and was built as a monument to Illinois Alumni killed in WWI. The columns in the colonnade bear the names of the 189 men who died in "The Great War" from U of I, plus plaques commemorating students and alum's killed in later war's.

    Suddenly I have the urge to do some tailgating.
    I'll be out bright at early Saturday morning... kickoff against Northwestern at 11am..

    not sure how long I'll stay at the game though

  12. #12
    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ijustkrushalot
    Oh yea, thats because I TOOK IT
    Hey ijustkrushalot, that's correct the one on the right is your picture, the one on the left was taken by another friend. (The rest of the pics in the thread were taken by me.)

    It was too good to pass up, I should have asked you permission beforehand, but thanks

  13. #13
    Cyburbian ijustkrushalot's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hceux
    What have influenced the development of these nice looking architectural buildings in a city that seems somewhat isolated from the rest of the States?
    Illinois has one of the nations oldest Architecture programs....

    I don't know too much about the downtown areas, but This website has alot of information about the Univiersity itself...

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    I have seen the mothership.
    They MUST have a nickname for that arena....why not the 'Mothership'? In fact, I bet that's what they call it.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ijustkrushalot's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    They MUST have a nickname for that arena....why not the 'Mothership'? In fact, I bet that's what they call it.
    The UFO, Flying Saucer, and Mushroom nicknames are used quite a bit.

    The Building was designed by Max Abramovitz who also designed the Krannert Center on campus

    In about an hour and a half, and for the next three months, i will be calling the Assembly Hall "home"


    There has been quite a bit of talk the last couple years about whether to replace or renovate Assembly Hall... but that has all been tabled for a couple years as Memorial Stadium renovations have taken up most of the Athletic Department's energy.

    I am mixed on it, Assembly Hall is a great building, and alot of thought was put into it... I am affraid that a cookie cutter retro "field-house" type arena would replace it, rather than something groundbreaking and enduring, like both Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium have been...

  16. #16
    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    They MUST have a nickname for that arena....
    House of Paign.

    From tonight-

    Last edited by gct13; 19 Nov 2005 at 12:37 AM.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    Used to live in Champaign a few years back... Does anyone know what the status of their light rail plan is? Is it even going be constructed now?

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I've never been to Champaign, but it really looks like someplace I'd like to live. The city scenes remind me of Iowa City, IA while the campus scenes remind me of Ames, IA. Since I'm an Illinoisian now, maybe my daughter will want to go to school there, in 17 years. Looks like a nice place. Thanks for sharing.

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    Cyburbian
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    Ah, Thanks for bringing back the memories. Wish I was still there! A few years ago, when I was a student there, I beleive they were kicking around the idea of replacing the 21 Quad route with a Tram. It was one of three alternatives, the others were adding more and bigger busses. I am not sure what happened in the end.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian gct13's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bocian View post
    Used to live in Champaign a few years back... Does anyone know what the status of their light rail plan is? Is it even going be constructed now?
    I think it's a dead issue now. Haven't heard any talk about it over the past year.

    Here's more Champaign - Urbana pics from over the weekend -

    Saturday, August 19 - Street Fest, downtown Champaign
















    Sunday, August 20 - Art Fair, West Side Park, Champaign









    Tuesday, August 22 - Film on the Quad, University of Illinois, Urbana


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    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    It's interesting to see the Main street being closed to mv traffic -- the 2-blocks full of wondering pedestrians that you see in pictures actually constituted a pedestrian mall until late 1970s -- was demalled later because downtown was dead at that time.... I wonder if pedestrianization of downtown Champaign would be a aviable option today, when the area has been brought back from the dead...

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ijustkrushalot's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bocian View post
    It's interesting to see the Main street being closed to mv traffic -- the 2-blocks full of wondering pedestrians that you see in pictures actually constituted a pedestrian mall until late 1970s -- was demalled later because downtown was dead at that time.... I wonder if pedestrianization of downtown Champaign would be a aviable option today, when the area has been brought back from the dead...
    They have turned alot of alleys into pedestrian plazas... which has worked pretty well.

    the ped mall they tried to create in the 70's was a disaster...I'm not sure it is wise to return to it.

    I would like to see a pedestrian mall in Campustown, where there is enough foot traffic for it... but downtown has a ways to go.

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    Great pics gct13! Its good to see other illinois cities besides Chicago.

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    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bocian View post
    Used to live in Champaign a few years back... Does anyone know what the status of their light rail plan is? Is it even going be constructed now?
    Thanks for the pics. The light rail was shelved for cost reasons but I think there is more interest with new fed funding. Still very expensive - approaching $200M.

    15 great years but I still go back more weekends than not to play with my band (not the one pictured but we did play another weekend there in the street).

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    Deleted message.

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