Then & Now – Urbana Furniture Co.


Submitted story



Then - This circa 1930 photo is of the Urbana Furniture Company, which once occupied the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets.

Then - This circa 1930 photo is of the Urbana Furniture Company, which once occupied the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets.


Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Now - This 2019 photo shows the building that once was part of the Urbana Furniture Company at the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets.


Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

The “Then” photo, circa 1930 (#0408), shows the Urbana Furniture Company complex located at the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets. It formerly was the Barlow & Kent Company, furniture manufacturer. Barlow & Kent Co. was established at Plain City in 1881 and moved to Urbana in 1889. The complex consisted of two factory buildings, an office building and an oil house, with a total area in excess of 30,000 square feet.

Barlow & Kent Co. produced wardrobes, desks, tables and cupboards. E.W. Barlow, owner, was from Kent, Arkansas. In 1910 the company had a lumber company in Kent and 1,200 acres of hardwood timberland in the area. Barlow & Kent Co. ran into financial difficulty in 1915 and was re-organized under new management as the Urbana Furniture Company, which manufactured Happi-Tymes nursery furniture.

Source: Champaign Democrat Centennial Edition June 15, 1905, page 21.

The 2019 “Now” photo shows one of the buildings in the former Barlow & Kent Co. complex, which was later used by the Urbana Furniture Company. The Barlow & Kent name was not removed when Urbana Furniture Co. started using the building.

Then – This circa 1930 photo is of the Urbana Furniture Company, which once occupied the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/11/web1_Then.jpgThen – This circa 1930 photo is of the Urbana Furniture Company, which once occupied the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets. Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Now – This 2019 photo shows the building that once was part of the Urbana Furniture Company at the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/11/web1_Now.jpgNow – This 2019 photo shows the building that once was part of the Urbana Furniture Company at the corner of South Oakland and Beach streets. Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Submitted story

Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.

Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.