The Illinois Central Railroad Terminal was built in the Beaux-Arts style in 1924 at 116 North Chestnut Street.

When completed in 1924 this beautiful Beaux-Arts
inspired station was promoted as the largest and most complete structure of its kind in any city the size of Champaign. At the time the populationwas 15,873.

The station was constructed at the same time 2 1/4 miles of rail line was raised through Champaign from St. Mary’s Road to Washington Street. The havoc caused by having automobiles, streetcars, and rail all in one space prompted the rail line to be raised. The project was a massive undertaking that required over ninety thousand cubic yards of new fill material hauled in from Paxton, Illinois. Overall, nine subways were created that could accommodate cars and truck traffic as well as streetcars. The project was officially opened as the first train rolled through town at 12:01 p.m. on October 16, 1923.

To make way for construction of this station the former depot which is now located to the north was rolled several hundred feet to its current location while keeping the station working.

Images

Champaign Station and View of Chester Street Bridge Under Construction April 12, 1924 Source: Champaign County Historical Archives
at The Urbana Free Library, Urbana, Illinois
Champaign Illinois 20080301 4108.jpg Illinois Terminal, train station, Champaign, IL Source: Wikimedia Commons Creator: Dori Date: 1 March 2008
Champaign Illinois 20080301 4103.jpg The old train station, Champaign, IL Source: Wikimedia Commons Creator: Dori Date: 1 March 2008
Untitled
Illinois Central Railroad Station Source: University of Illinois Archives Date: Undated
Champaign Urbana Illinois Central Railroad Station Source: Ebay Sale 1960 Date: Undated
Gathering at Illinois Central Railroad Station Source: Illinois Central Archives Date: Undated
New Station from Southeast Source: Illinois Central Archives Date: Undated
Part of East Front, New Station Source: Illinois Central Archives Date: Undated
University Avenue Viaduct Construction Source: Champaign County Historical Archives Date: Undated

Location

116 North Chestnut Street

Metadata

T.J. Blakeman, “Illinois Central Railroad Terminal,” ExploreCU, accessed May 20, 2022, https://explorecu.org/items/show/360.