Illinois - Aurora


Of all the sights in Aurora, I start it with a water tower? This jellyfish was built in 1933 as a WPA project and survived just a year after I saw it, demolished in 2013. There are very few jellyfish-style towers left, and as much of a shame as that is, you can see how some of the main structural members were starting to rust. It was located on Hill Avenue east of downtown.

Walking north along the west side of the western Fox River channel. There is a dam just below the New York Street/Memorial Bridge, and the beautifully adorned fish ladder happens to be here. Stolp Island, which divides the river in two, holds much of Aurora's historic downtown.

Heading east onto Stolp Island, there are some interesting plaques on the south side of New York Street. Rubbing General Pershing's face may bring good luck, or is just plain weird. Once any part of a plaque or statue is shiny, everyone just rubs it anyway.

The plaque or memorial on the north side of the road; in this condition, it's hard to tell what it was.

The Paramount Theatre is on the east side of Stolp Island just south of Galena Boulevard, which together with New York Street was once US Route 30 and the most notable east-west highway in the country (Lincoln Highway). It was designed for movies but with a capacity of over 2,000 people, which gives you an idea of how popular movies were at the time and the different expectations in theatre design. If not for the Great Depression killing off copies of this concept, we might have a radically different movie experience today!

Opening in 1931, the theatre is one of the earlier, more ornate but less classic examples of Art Deco.

Looking west at the old Memorial Bridge flanked by the new casino and its parking deck, also serving the Paramount Theatre.

Southward Fox River views from the eastern Galena Boulevard bridge, with the Downer Place bridge missing in the foreground as it was being reconstructed in 2012.

No crossings to the north of the New York Street/Memorial Bridge (eastern bridge seen here), just uninterrupted Fox River.

Looking south along Broadway from New York Street.

Looking north along Broadway, what's now the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and obviously once was an original fire station is on the east side of the street.

Aurora Roads

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