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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Plainfield in Will County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Development of Downtown Plainfield

Downtown Plainfield Historic District

 
 
The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker (east side) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
1. The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker (east side)
Inscription.

First Plat of "Planefield"
Chester Ingersoll platted the "Town of Planefield" in August 1834 north of the settlement at Walker's Grove. It was a modified grid plan of thirteen nearly square blocks with a formal Public Square at the intersection of Fox River Street and Lockport Street. Originally, Ingersoll envisioned businesses located around the public square; however, within a decade a central business district along what was known as the "Lockport Road" emerged. Until the 1870s, this roadway was known as DuPage Street; it is today's Lockport Street.

Ingersoll's town included the southern half of DuPage Street while Levi Arnold owned the northern half of it. Unlike Ingersoll's orderly blocks, Arnold allowed individuals to build haphazardly on his land while he retained ownership of it. Following Arnold's death in 1845, his wife and daughters formally platted this haphazard development as Arnold's Addition.

Commercial Area Forms
The commercial district along Lockport Street initially formed with Isaiah Clippinger dividing and selling lots in the front yard of his residence located on on [sic] the south side of DuPage Street between Illinois and Des Plaines Streets. About the same time, and on the north side of the street, George Bennitt moved twelve buildings from various lots around Plainfield and

The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker (west side) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
2. The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker (west side)
set them on DuPage Street just east of Chicago Street. The buildings were set on every other lot so that construction on the lots in between only required a front wall, rear wall, floor, and roof.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, and Universalists constructed churches. The Plymouth Congregational Church, Sharon United Methodist, and Plainfield United Methodist remain in the downtown today.

The northern and southern portions of Plainfield were united as a single community in April 1869. The Village of Plainfield was incorporated under the general law of the State of Illinois on June 30, 1877.

[Inset photo captions read]
[Top right of marker]

Fires between 1881 and 1898 destroyed most of the early wooden structures along Lockport Street between Illinois and Des Plaines Street. After, the buildings were typically constructed of brick in [an] attempt to minimize the risk of fire.

Top left: North side of Lockport Street prior to the fires of the 1880s and 1890s.

Bottom left: The south side of Lockport Street after the fire of 1898.

[Large photo at bottom right]
The Masonic Block building was designed by J.E. Minett, an Aurora architect, and was constructed in 1892.

[Bottom left photos]
Early photographs and postcards of Plainfield churches. From left, St. Mary's Church, the Universalist

The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
3. The Development of Downtown Plainfield Marker
Looking east along Lockport Street
Church, and the Congregational Church.
 
Location. 41° 36.512′ N, 88° 12.317′ W. Marker is in Plainfield, Illinois, in Will County. Marker is at the intersection of Lockport Street and Des Plaines Street, on the right when traveling west on Lockport Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24102 Lockport Street, Plainfield IL 60544, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Downtown Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Masonic Block Building Landmark (within shouting distance of this marker); Opera House Block Building Landmark (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Plymouth Congregational Church (about 600 feet away); Boxcars (approx. 0.3 miles away); Caboose (approx. 0.3 miles away); E J & E Depot No. 4 (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Lincoln Highway - The nation's first coast-to-coast highway! (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Plainfield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Walking Tour of Downtown Plainfield IL. (Submitted on April 23, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Downtown Plainfield Historic District National Register Registration. (Submitted on April 23, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Downtown Plainfield - Historic, inviting and family friendly (2014 The Herald News article). (Submitted on April 23, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Plainfield, Illinois. (Submitted on April 24, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 119 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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