Peoria Off The Beaten Path

  • The Ordinary Looking House (Look Closer)
    The Ordinary Looking House (Look Closer)
    by riorich55
  • What's This Doing in Peoria?
    What's This Doing in Peoria?
    by riorich55
  • Harder than it looks
    Harder than it looks
    by shrimp56

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Peoria

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    Foxtale Puppets

    by shrimp56 Written Mar 29, 2011
    Steve Plunkett and Vixie
    2 more images

    The reason I was in Peoria was to attend Steve Plunkett's puppet Workshop in conjunction with the Jim Henson exhibit. Steve sure knows his stuff and the attendees discovered through practicing on small puppets provided that puppeteering is a detailed and exhausting art form.

    We learned about focus, lip synching, how a character is created and how to keep a puppet looking alive.

    Steve also showed us how puppets are made and shared many of his fun stories along the way.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Gargoyles in Peoria??

    by riorich55 Written Mar 19, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Ordinary Looking House (Look Closer)
    1 more image

    I had never seen this before either. While standing across the street taking the last few pictures of the Robertson Memorial Field House (which they are demolishing to make room for new campus athletic facilities) I noticed this ordinary looking house with a Gargoyle on the roof. Now where did the Bradley students get that from???

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Historic Homes in Peoria

    by deecat Updated Mar 5, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Historic District in Peoria

    I just read some VT member comments about Peoria, & I just can't believe that they lived in or visited the same town that I just spent two days admiring. If you like history, architecture, a renovated riverfront, an active Historical Society, & a community that is working diligently to preserve & improve, then you'll enjoy Peoria...I sure did, especially the Historic Homes.

    In & near the West Bluff Historic District on High Street & Moss Street, it was a "beehive of activity". Many old homes were being renovated, & crews were putting on new roofs, painting, & repairing.
    The first home that I saw is not a famous one; It's located at 429 High Street.
    (photo)

    A placard near the sidewalk caught my eye; I read it, & discovered I was looking at 802 West Moss Ave or the 1856 Bradley Homestead. This massive brick home used to belong to the Bradleys, a famous wealthy family in Peoria with a somewhat tragic life. Mr. Tobias Bradley (who ran a saw mill, a distilling business, & was president of the First National Bank of Peoria) died rather young; all six of the children also died. Lydia Moss Bradley continued with the family endeavors & became one of the most important woman philanthopist in the midwest. She gave much of her wealth to the school she founded, now called Bradley University!

    Another historic home (not in the same area), the Flanagan House on NE Glen Oak Avenue serves as the site of the Peoria Historical Society
    Building. It's the oldest standing house in Peoria (1837) & is of Federal Style. Inside is pre-Civil War furniture. There are antique toys in the children's room & a carpenter's shop with a large collection of antique tools.
    It has a stunning setting located on the bluffs above the Illinois River; thus, visitors are given a superior view of the entire River Valley!

    Open Wednesday-Sunday or by appointment

    So, to all those people I read who dislike Peoria & say there's nothing to do, I don't think you really looked.

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    Prairie Style Frank Lloyd Wright in Peoria

    by deecat Updated Mar 5, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Francis W. Little House in Peoria

    Needless to say, I was surprised as we walked in the West Bluff Historic District to see a Prairie Style Frank Lloyd Wright home among the Victorians and Queen Anne's. I stopped "dead in my tracks" to take this photograph as proof to myself that I had actually seen it. This home at 1505 West Moss Avenue is called Francis W. Little House, and it is the first of several homes that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for this family.

    This Prairie Style has uniquely angular forms and built-in bookshelves as well as kitchen shelf built-ins. When it was built in 1903, it cost $14,000, The owners (Mary and Francis Little) only lived there for two years, and because of financial concerns, moved to Minnesota.
    This particular home has seen several different owners, but Ruth Swardenski, the present owner, has tried to keep it exactly as Wright would have. She's used the earth colors and nature elements that Wright professed. The window design in the Peoria house is said to have "delicate lines with a thin white opal border and gold accent glass."

    Because Wright believed in Sullivan's idea of a "uniquely American architecture reflecting Midwestern geography and suited to the needs of people living in the modern age", he tried to remove his designs from the box-like mazes of the Victorian rooms. Instead, his designs were a flowing, open floor plan. This house, like all of Wright's, features low, sheltering roofline, and a massive hearth and chimney as a focal point.

    For this home, Wright also designed a tall chest of drawers in oak with brass pulls.

    The Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation conducts group tours by advance arrangement. I'm just glad that I accidentally "stumbled" on this little "gem" of an architectual wonder right here in historic Peoria!.

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    Historic Architecture West Bluff Historic District

    by deecat Updated Mar 4, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pettengill Morron House

    Those of you who have read my site know how much I love history and architecture. That's probably why I enjoyed visiting Peoria so much. I discovered early on that this historic city has many areas with lovely architecture, West Bluff Historic District being one of the best. Thus, Allan and I drove to that area, parked our car, and walked High and Moss Streets. This area is also called High Wine Historic District, but I do not know why except one street is High Street.

    On Moss Street is the Pettengill Morron House, a Mid-Victorian built in 1868. It's a brick structure built by Moses Pettengill, a merchant from New Hampshire. The home is a Second Empire residence with Queen Anne decorative motifs and furnished to the period. Moses Pettengill was Peoria's first hardware merchant.. It has eleven rooms that contain a collection of artifacts and antiques from the home's last occupant, Jean Morron. She willed the home to the Peoria Historical Society in 1966.

    On the National Register of Historic Homes, it portrays the life of the Morron family, the last owner of the house. Jean Morran purchased this home in 1953 because her own home was in the way of progress. She brought with her two-centuries of accumulation and family heirlooms such as the cast-iron fence, chandeliers, and marble mantles.

    The Historical Society conducts tours from May-October via bus or trolley.
    Even though we could not go inside, we were able to peruse this lovely residence up close.

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    Tanner's Apple Orchard

    by cheryl-b Updated Feb 18, 2005

    Quaint local apple orchard. Pick all the apples you like, then sample fresh apple butter, taffy apples, and apple cider in the store. There's a small petting zoo for the kids.

    This is a lot of fun--I went here every fall when I lived in Peoria.

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  • Ciourtichika's Profile Photo

    What people will easily notice...

    by Ciourtichika Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What people will easily notice when leaving Peoria here in central Illinois is how oppresive the local police are and how true crime is not at all what they are trying to stop. Peoria ranks number 1 in the state of Illinois for crime and those staying long enough will be quick to learn the people doing the most stealing are the police and NOT {surprise!} the supposed 'convicts'. Maybe these two groups of people are the same thing? Maybe? Food for thought.

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  • cheryl-b's Profile Photo

    Moss Avenue

    by cheryl-b Updated Feb 18, 2005
    The pre-Revolutionary War tree.

    Fine old houses, a pre-Revolutionary War tree, nice views of the city (esp. at night). For a little romance, sit on the bench near the tree at night--the city lights below are the perfect setting.

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  • Moishka's Profile Photo

    What will you miss most when...

    by Moishka Written Aug 26, 2002

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    What will you miss most when you visit Peoria? Great music. Fun bars. Open minded people. No police harassment and most of all fun times.

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Peoria Off The Beaten Path

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