Posted on July 13, 2022
PEORIA, Illinois —In early August, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, will dispose of a building identified as a contributing element to the Illinois Waterway Project Office, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, located at 257 Grant Street in Peoria, Illinois, is no longer structurally sound and repairs are not feasible. Demolition and disposal of the building has been coordinated with the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 for its significance in the development of the Illinois Waterway as a navigational system. The building to be removed is an eight-stall brick garage constructed in 1930, known as Building 303. It was recently determined that the structure should be removed due to safety concerns.
“It’s just no longer safe for our crews to use or maintain the garage,” said Scott Uhl, Operations Manager at the Illinois Waterway Project. “A replacement garage was built in 1990 to better serve our needs.”
The Illinois Waterway stretches approximately 336 miles from Chicago to Grafton, Illinois, creating a vital vein of commerce for the Midwest as a navigable route linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River and beyond. As early as 1822 the U.S. Congress recognized the need for a transportation connection between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and passed the first of several acts which authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make improvements to the waterway.
Today, a series of eight locks and dams, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, control the flow of water from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River to maintain a navigable channel for commercial and recreational vessels. The waterway is historically significant not only for its role in maritime transportation and industry but for its contributions to waterway management technologies including uniquely designed wicket and Tainter gates found at the Peoria and La Grange lock and dam sites.
For more information on the Illinois Waterway and its history visit: https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Illinois-Waterway/History/.