Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Ford Garage


This is a "before" shot of the Ford Garage in Springfield taken in the Spring of 2005. The building now has been restored to the tune of $5 million according to a story by Lisa Kernek in the State-Journal Register on June 28, 2006.

Its owner, Illinois National Bank, could have simply renovated the structure for far less money. Instead, they restored the building to meet the standards of the National Register of Historic Places.

Vachel Lindsay knew and loved this building. It was built right around the corner from his house, on the northwest corner of 4th and Jackson Streets.

In annotations he left in a copy of Walled Towns by R.A. Cram, Lindsay listed the Ford Garage in Springfield along with Bush Terminal Building, the Times Building, the Golden Door of the Transportation Building, by Louis Sullivan, and the Dana-Thomas House, by Frank Lloyd Wright, as examples of an architectural spirit in the tradition of John Ruskin, an architecture born of the soil like the Gothic in Europe.

"All these are modern forms, born in this soil, yet capable of development in the spirit of Cram's book, or Ruskin's wonderful description of the nature of Gothic," wrote Lindsay around 1920.

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