Heads Up! Original Downtown Naperville Architecture Worth the Neck Strain

When in Downtown Naperville, it’s easy to feel the history all around you as you stroll around the idyllic setting of our city.  Once you begin a closer examination of the buildings along Washington Street, Jefferson Avenue and Main Street it is easy to see the history firsthand.  I recently engaged in a windows tour of downtown to take a closer look at the vintage crown molding and sublty ornate window seals.  I’ve walked past these buildings a hundred times but never quite took the time 


(Second story windows along Main Street between Jefferson Avenue and Jackson)

to stop and study the varying styles and features in understanding why the blocks of new and original architecture take on such visual charm and clean breakpoints between connected and adjacent buildings.  Take a look yourself and you can see the amazing detail that still remains as a reminder of days in Naperville long ago when you were more likely to get your horse and buggy stuck in mud along Jefferson Ave. rather than sit in traffic.


(Twin windows overlooking Main Street)

It’s a credit to the leaders and city planners of Naperville who have protected and preserved the authentic look and feel of downtown Naperville architecture, both new and old.  Much of the ornate style has been preserved in much of the new construction which has taken place and I believe it to be very important as a community we continue to preserve a strong vision for the detailed intracacy of what downtown architecture should look and feel like.


(The well-known corner of Jefferson Ave. and Washington Street which remains relatively unchanged since the late 1800s)

Combine the authentic architecture and abundance of mature trees along the streets in downtown and the view almost tells its own story.  If you ever have the chance, drop by the Naper Settlement’s downstairs museum or Andersons Bookshop to look at books of early Naperville photos and see how much of the architecture remains the same.  I continue to hope the preservation of old architecture and character of new architecture will preserve the charm of downtown.


(Looking southward down Main Street toward Jackson… had to include some B&W photos)
Though I’ve featured the photo below in the past, I would be remiss if I wrote of the windows of downtown Naperville without mentioning the old city hall building, which now houses La Sorella di Francesca.  The twin arching windows which sit above street level on the first floor are my favorite.  As a matter of fact, I have a framed print of this picture hanging on the wall in my office at work, along with a couple of other downtown Naperville prints and photographs I’ve taken in Europe. 
I encourage you to pause and look more closely at the vintage architecture of downtown Naperville during your next visit.
(The corner point and crown molding atop the vintage building at the corner of Jefferson and Washington which currently houses Zazu Salon and Day Spa)

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