Flat Iron Building

The Flat Iron building was constructed in 1909 and demolished sixty years later in 1969. It was built in various architectural styles.

The Flat Iron building was designed and constructed by S.P. Atkinson of the S.P. Atkinson Monument Building at 106 South Neil Street. Many of the features of the flat iron can be seen on the South Neil Street building.

The Gazette building was often a gathering point for community events from War Bond rally’s or simulcast to Illini football games. When Memorial Stadium was dedicated on October 18, 1924 in what is now its most famous game, throngs of people from Champaign to Chicago gathered outside the flat iron to hear play by play of Red Grange’s five touchdowns over Michigan by a reporter from the second story window.

Unfortunately, the pressure of parking was too much for the flat iron block. In 1969, a group of local business owners quietly purchased the block with the intention of tearing the buildings down for additional Sears & Roebuck parking. The entire block did come down, only to see Sears and many other department stores leave downtown seven years later for the newly opened Market Place Mall.

Images

Flat Iron Building

Flat Iron Building

View of a portion of the 300 block of North Hickory Street, Champaign. Shows the west side of the street. Taken from a vantage point at the northeast corner of the intersection of Hickory Street and Main Street, looking northwest. Prominently visible is the Gazette building (Flat Iron Building), which is partially demolished. | Source: Champaign County Historical Archives at The Urbana Free Library, Urbana, Illinois | Creator: Charles Webster View File Details Page

Intersection of Neil St. and Church St.

Intersection of Neil St. and Church St.

The location of former Flat Iron Building is located in the middle of the image, where the Downtown Fountain can be seen on the northeast corner of Main St./Church St. and Neil St. The building on the southwest corner of Neil and Main St./Church St. is the current location of Hyatt Place. | Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Downtown_Champaign1.JPG | Creator: TJ Blakeman View File Details Page

Flat Iron Building, looking north

Flat Iron Building, looking north

Source: Champaign County Historical Archives View File Details Page

Demolition of the Flat Iron Building

Demolition of the Flat Iron Building

Source: Champaign County Historical Archives View File Details Page

Bird's eye view of the Flat Iron Building

Bird's eye view of the Flat Iron Building

Source: Champaign County Historical Archives View File Details Page

The Flat Iron Building in 1940, including a billboard for "Meadow Gold"

The Flat Iron Building in 1940, including a billboard for "Meadow Gold"

Source: The Pope Family View File Details Page

The Flat Iron, or Gazette Building, at Neil and Hickory Streets

The Flat Iron, or Gazette Building, at Neil and Hickory Streets

Source: Champaign County Historical Archives View File Details Page

West side of Hickory Street looking North from Main Street, August 1940

West side of Hickory Street looking North from Main Street, August 1940

Source: Champaign County Historical Archives View File Details Page

Street Address:

Original address: Hickory St. and Neil St.
Current address: Main St. and Neil St.
Previously, Hickory St. used to run through the parking lot on Neil St. to Main St. It was at this intersection of Hickory St. and Main St. that the Flat Iron Building stood. [map]

Cite this Page:

T.J. Blakeman, “Flat Iron Building,” ExploreCU, accessed June 23, 2017, http://explorecu.org/items/show/356.

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