Then and Now: 1 Monument Square Building


Two buildings have occupied 1 Monument Square. The first is shown in a ca. 1850 painting of the Public Square by Henry Howe. Presumably it was built in 1811, probably by Thomas Gwynne. In the 1850s the first floor of this building was occupied by the drug store of Kauffman & Nelson (Jacob, K. & James, A. N.).

In 1861, they replaced the original building with the building shown in an 1865 photo of the northeast corner of the Public Square. The occasion of this photo will be described in a future Looking Back.

Kauffman & Nelson Drug Store occupied the first floor of the new building. Armstrong’s Bank became an occupant in 1862, becoming the Citizens National Bank in 1865. Next door in the adjacent building was the Wallace & Bryant Boot & Shoe Store, next was the Stone & O’Connor Grocery, and next the Craig & Rannells Grocery.

A recent photo illustrates how the façade of the building at 1 Monument Square has changed over the years. Originally it did not have a cupola, later one was added but removed sometime after 1930.


The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Info from CCHS

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