Campustown (Champaign, Illinois)

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Campustown
University District
District
Green Street Champaign.jpg
Country United States
State Illinois
County Champaign County
City Champaign
Established 1920s[1]
Named for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus
City Council District 1, 2
Government
 • City Council Member Will Kyles,
Michael La Due
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61820
Area code(s) 217
Website champaigncenter.com

Campustown is an area within the 1st and 2nd City Council Districts in Champaign, Illinois. Centered on Green Street, the district contains about eight city blocks occupied by various small businesses, restaurants, bars, and apartment buildings which mostly house university students. Campustown is located along the west side of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

Notable landmarks include the Alma Mater, The Tower at Third, the 309 Green high-rise, KAM's, Legend's Bar & Grill, Murphy's Pub, and Papa Del's deep dish pizzeria.[2]

Campustown 2000[edit]

In 1995, then University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Provost Michael Aiken constructed a planning committee in an effort to revitalize the deteriorating infrastructure in the campustown district. As the committee's chairperson, Aiken hoped to transform the district into a safer, more inviting area for university students and visitors. The committee was composed of representatives from the cities of Champaign, its twin city Urbana, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, the C-U Economic Partnership, land and business owners within campustown, and UIUC.[3]

Since the creation of the district, campustown's main thoroughfare, East Green Street, carried four lanes of vehicular traffic, despite serving a mostly pedestrian-based commercial district for the university. Campustown's deteriorating infrastructure was highlighted when a student was killed by vehicular traffic and during the 2002 NFL season when the Chicago Bears played their home games at Memorial Stadium during the renovation of Soldier Field.[1]

The Champaign City Council approved plans for seven million dollar project, which was completed in 2003. Green Street was reconstructed from Wright to Fourth Streets and various safety features were added such as new street-lights, railings, large planters, and proper signage. Campustown's speed limit was also reduced to 25 mph (40 km/h) and Green Street was reduced to three lanes of traffic, with the middle lane enabling turn and business deliveries, due to a lack of alleyways. To facilitate the construction of a new Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus stop, Wright Street was converted to a pedestrial mall allowing bus access only between Chalmers and John Streets. Since the creation of the Transit Plaza, it has become the largest bus stop in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area.[1][4][5]

Urban Core Development[edit]

Over the past 10 years, since the completion of the Campustown 2000 project, the Campustown skyline and streetscape has drastically transformed. While the Tower at Third high-rise, which stands 205 ft (62 m), was completed in 1972, another high-rise had not been built in Campustown until after the completion of Campustown 2000.[6] In 2008, two high-rise residential towers opened for residents, 309 Green and Burnham 310. Until the 2008 Economic Recession, plans had also been drafted for another high-rise at 311 Green, which would have been a "sister building" to 309 Green.

Since the start of 2013, construction projects have restarted in campustown. Bankier Apartments has contracted Broeren-Russo Company of Champaign to build their 14-story residential high-rise at 519 East Green. The tower is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2014.[7]

Tallest Buildings[edit]

Below is a listing of the tallest buildings in Champaign's Campustown district, by height.[8]

Rank Name Height
ft (m) 
Floors Year Street Address Image
1 309 Green 268 (82) 24 2009 309 East Green St. 309 Green Street Champaign
2 HERE Champaign 267 (81) 27 est. Spring 2015 308 East Green St. 308 East Green Construction.jpg
3 Burnham 310 224 (68) 18 2008 310 East Springfield Ave. Burnham 310 (2).jpg
4 The Tower at Third 205 (62) 21 1972 302 East John St. Tower at Third.jpg
5 Skyline Tower 169 (52) 14 est. Fall 2014 519 East Green St. Skyline Tower Champaign.jpg
6 Illini Tower 166 (51) 17 1967 409 East Chalmers St. Illini Tower on UIUC's campus
7 Bromley Hall 151 (46) 14 1967 910 South Third St.
8 Sherman Hall 127 (39) 13 1966 909 South Fifth St.
9 Park Place Tower 108 (33) 9 2003 202 East Green St. Park Place Tower.jpg
10 Green Street Towers 96 (29) 8 2001 616 East Green St. Green Street Towers.jpg

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ryan, Michelle. "Campustown Streetscape, Champaign, Illinois". Landscapeonline.com. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tony (May 11, 2012). "The Draft And The Deep-dish Delight". Illinois Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "'Campustown 2000' subcommittee identifies safety issues and makes recommendations". Inside Illinois, For Faculty and Staff. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Bureau. September 19, 1996. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Champaign City Council approves Campustown redevelopment project and new traffic circulation plan". Inside Illinois, For Faculty and Staff. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Bureau. October 4, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Starbucks to open at Illini Union Bookstore in March". The Daily Illini. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Emporis Tower at Third Page". Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Construction of high-rise Bankier Apartments begins on Green Street". The Daily Illini. September 19, 1996. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.emporis.com/city/champaign-il-usa/all-buildings

External links[edit]