Smile Politely

Discover the history of the Washington and Hill neighborhood on June 1st

The Washington Street Neighborhood Association, with help from the Preservation and Conservation Association, is inviting the community to dig into the “hidden history” of some of the houses in this particular area of Champaign. There are three planned tours, each beginning on the front porch of 603 W. Washington, and each lasting an hour. Here are your options: 

1:15 – Architecture Tour: A Tale of Two Stories – Most of the residences in our neighborhood have two or more stories, both architecturally and for the people living in them. Come learn about the features of many neighborhood homes and the interesting people who have lived in them.

1:45 – Immigrant and Social History Tour: Historical Diverse, Increasingly Unequal? Learn about the history of Champaign’s first, and most long-standing, integrated neighborhood (the Sesquicentennial and surroundings) and how the area is at risk of following national trends of economic, racial and social polarization.

2:15 – Weird History Tour: Strange but True! Have you ever wondered if there are any haunted houses in the neighborhood? What about famous, infamous or eccentric residents? Find out juicy tidbits like where the local speakeasy may have been, where you could buy a jar of pickles, and the secrets of political meetings in the billiard room at the Hotel Tilden Hall on Hill St. You will never see our neighborhood in the same way again!

From 2:30 to 4, there will be snacks and lemonade and sharing of stories back on the front porch at 603. 

Photo from Facebook

Staff writer

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