Since the city of Champaign’s incorporation in 1860, one neighborhood has witnessed more history than any other. The residential area to the west of downtown Champaign was essential in establishing the city as a center of commerce, refined architecture, and social diversity. On Saturday, the Washington Street Neighborhood Association partnered with the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) to give residents an opportunity to learn about the neighborhood’s significant past. As multiple tour groups winded through the historic streets, they gained knowledge of the buildings and people that first developed Champaign and how these neighborhoods have changed throughout the decades. Check out our video below to see why this unique part of Americana is important to its current residents and why they hope to protect it.

Photo and Video by Steven Pratten