On Friday, June 10, 2022 representatives from the City of Champaign and the City of Urbana took attendees through two exciting projects that have been a long time in the making.
Champaign Tour of Boneyard Creek Improvements
Written by Ben LeRoy
Attendees convened at Bristol Park in Champaign for the first part of the mobile workshop, which centered on the role of stormwater infrastructure as a catalyst for public and private investment. TJ Blakeman, AICP, introduced attendees to the Boneyard Creek, which runs from north Champaign down to the UIUC Campustown area and then on through downtown Urbana. Attendees learned how a redesigned Bristol Park serves as an amenity for the adjacent redeveloped Bristol Place neighborhood, built a key segment of the Boneyard trail, and ties in to the Champaign Park District's new Martens Center, an indoor/outdoor recreation facility in a disinvested neighborhood. Attendees then travelled further down the Boneyard Creek to Campustown, where they learned how investments by the City of Champaign and the Champaign Park District have made stormwater infrastructure a recreational amenity that also significantly reduces the amount of flooding during heavy rain events. After a couple hours of walking, attendees took a lunch break at Legends, a Campustown bar and restaurant that many UIUC alumni still remember fondly.
Tour of Downtown Urbana Historic District
Written by Marcus Ricci, AICP
After lunch, attendees proceeded to Lincoln Square in Urbana for the second part of the mobile workshop, which focused on the role of historic preservation as a tool for downtown revitalization. Marcus Ricci, AICP, and Kat Trotter toured attendees through Lincoln Square Mall, sharing its history as one of the first enclosed malls in the country, and how it was built around the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel. Joseph Prior, Marquis Ventures, showed us the ongoing renovations of the hotel, dubbed “Hotel Royer.” Kevin Garcia, AICP, led attendees to the Urbana Free Library where Director Celeste Choate shared how the library’s role as a “free” library has evolved into a community hub, with property on both sides of Green Street that will re-create the approach to Lincoln Square. Kevin then led us through the Downtown Urbana Historic District to the Cohen Building, where owner Dan Maloney toured us through the renovations and explained how his renovation dreams led him to work with the City of Urbana to create the Historic District that made his building – and the Hotel Royer – eligible for those historic tax incentives. Allen Strong told us how he repurposed the Courier newspaper building into the Courier Café, the oldest restaurant in Downtown Urbana. City Engineer John Zeman showed us Boneyard Creek Crossing and told us about future plans for maintenance and improvements. We then ended the day next door at 25 O’Clock, a microbrewery created in a former foundry, and enjoyed some tasty, local beverages while we relaxed. Thanks for coming, and we hope to see you back soon!
Register for the 2022 APA-ISS Spring Conference Upcoming Mobile Workshops!
If the Peoria & Champaign-Urbana Mobile Workshops has you excited for more of what the APA-ISS has to offer in 2022, we have you covered!
2022 In-Person Mobile Workshops
What's really cool about this year is that along with 2-days of virtual sessions, there are in-person mobile workshops too! If you were a conference attendee, the cost of all mobile workshops are included in your conference registration cost! If you didn't attend the conference, no problem, we'll offer separate registration for each mobile workshop event.
June 24, 2022 - Rockford, IL - Keith Creek Bike Tour - REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!
July 22, 2022 - Quincy, IL - Downtown & Mississippi Bridge Replacement Project
TBD - Alton, IL or Mascoutah Mid-America & Boeing, Madison County bike trails
TBD - Metropolis, IL - Planning Charette (tentative)
✔️ May 6, 2022 - Peoria, IL - Scottish Rite Theater & Sankoty Lakes Resort Tours
✔️ June 10, 2022 - Champaign - Urbana, IL - Boneyard Creek & Downtown Urbana Walking Tour
Stay tuned for all links to register.