Tyson and Billy Architects

IAHA Maintenance Management Clinic

taba iaha confrence

This Year, Ron and Alisha from our office went to the annual IAHA Maintenance Management Clinic.  This clinic is held in Decatur, Illinois at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel.

The IAHA Maintenance Management Clinic creates an opportunity to meet over 400 housing professionals from both the public and private sector who attend the Clinic each year to see what is for sale and what is new to make their jobs easier. At our Clinic, main functions such as breaks, evening receptions are held in the Exhibit Hall to insure maximum access to the participants of the Clinic.


Housing professionals from the public and private sector come together once a year to attend this specialtraining seminar which includes Housing Authority Executive Directors, maintenance and management purchasing agents, staff, not-for-profit sponsors of housing projects, private developers, property managers of subsidized housing developments and HUD officials.  This wide variety of prospective clients insures you an opportunity to sell your product to those who attend the clinic and also opens the door to other possible clients through word of mouth.  You have the opportunity to see more people in two days and get more positive exposure of your product than you can in three months using conventional methods.

Stop by booth 67 and say Hi to Ron and Alisha!


AIA Grassroots – Springfield, Illinois

578504_10200900564662151_176442079_n This week Ron had the opportunity to go to Springfield to lobby for issues that affect architects.

We all appreciate the time and effort of the AIA Illinois Architects who went to lobby for some important issues that affect specifically Architects, but ultimately everyone.  Thanks again!



Above: Ron with Sen. Dave Syverson


Below: A group pic from the AIA Illinois website.  I haven't found Ron in this one yet, but I have found at least one other Rockford area Architect!


The following are a Brief synopsis of 3 Bills discussed with legislature.

Accessibility Standards Update (HB 1462/ Rep. Sente)
With the adoption of the 2010 ADA Standards it has become
increasingly difficult to decipher what is necessary under the
Illinois Accessibility Code. Under HB 1462 the state must begin
aligning the Illinois Accessibility Code with the 2010 ADA
Standards. Professionals will be able to refer to one code when
making necessary designs. It is time to encourage Illinois to
update the Illinois Accessibility Code for easy, one stop
Status: This bill has passed the House State Government
Committee without opposition.

Testing Blackout (SB 1792/Sen. Martinez, HB 1344/Rep.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
(NCARB) testing service will be down for 8 to 12 weeks this
summer. Interns with a bachelor’s degree only have till January
1, 2014 to complete their testing requirements.
SB1792/HB1344 extends the time in which architectural interns
may complete the exam. Providing for our future architects is
an important role in keeping the profession competitive.
Status: These bills have passed House and Senate
Committees unanimously.

Historic Building Credit (SB 336/ Sen. Manar,
HB122/ Rep. Harris)
This credit will encourage private investment in historic
properties. Urban, suburban, rural communities and the State
of Illinois will benefit from the jobs and economic development.
The bill allows credit up to $3 million per project on state
income taxes equal to 20% of the qualified cost of the project.
The state is expected to return $7 for every $1 invested, in
income and sales tax dollars.
Status: These bills are assigned to Revenue Committee.


While Ron was at the Capital, he took some time to appreciate some great architecture.  Below are some pictures he took while there. Enjoy!

IMAG0113 IMAG0114 IMAG0115(2) IMAG0116(2)




Ron recently had the chance to stay at a Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel while overseeing a project in Mason City,Iowa; I thought it a great opportunity to explore a little bit of the history of the historic building!

"In the early 1900s, Mason City, Iowa, was booming.  Successful attorneys James Blythe and J.E.E. Markley were among those spearheading growth.  Serving on the board of directors of the City National Bank, which contemplated expanding, they saw the opportunity to meet multiple needs with one plan.  A new building could provide a home for the bank, new offices for their firm, a much-needed hotel, and a replacement for the old eye-sores on the corner of State Street and Federal Avenue, the hub of downtown.

At the time, Markley’s two daughters attended Hillside Home School in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  The school boasted a beautiful building designed for the sisters who ran it by their nephew, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Impressed with the design, Markley suggested the Chicago architect for the Mason City project.  With his innovative Prairie School designs drawing considerable attention, Wright was well-established in Oak Park, Illinois, where other like-minded architects also worked in his studio.

Wright came to Mason City and the project took on life.  With its unique three-part design, the City National Bank and Park Inn Hotel began to take shape.  In 1909, however, Wright’s scandalous elopement to Europe with the wife of a former client left the rest of the construction management to his Oak Park associate William Drummond.  Fortunately, Drummond was able to see the building completed according to Wright’s original design and it opened to the public in 1910."

-Excerpt from www.wrightonthepark.org/

Over the years the building was remodeled to serve a variety of purposes and eventually fell into disrepair.

"At this point, concern mounted over whether or not the historic property could be salvaged.  The bank, under separate ownership, housed retail shops and offices but the interior of the hotel continued to deteriorate.  Still, many local residents firmly believed the building deserved to be rescued for historic and artistic reasons, as a memorial to one of the country’s greatest architects, and for its potential value as both a tourist attraction and in revitalizing the city’s downtown.

In 2005, Wright on the Park, Inc.(WOTP), a local citizens’ organization, formed and achieved IRS recognition as a non-profit organization in order to undertake The Historic Park Inn Hotel project.  Starting with grants obtained in previous efforts, WOTP began fundraising.  Memberships, private donations, grants, a Vision Mason City drive, a Vision Iowa grant, and tax credits made it possible for construction to begin in 2010.

Renovation began with the hotel while the bank was under private ownership.  Repairs to the roof took priority, followed by cleaning the exterior brick and restoring the terra cotta and polychrome tile columns.  In 2007, this group of volunteers also purchased the bank, enabling it to plan renovation of the entire structure, returning it to its original exterior design. "

-Excerpt from www.stoneycreekinn.com/

The Park Inn Hotel is the last remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built hotel in the world.  So, next time you are in Mason City Iowa checking out Legacy Manor make sure you take some time to explore The Park Inn hotel and City National Bank!


-Images from Google


Open House Chicago Trip!

Recently, I had the chance to attend “Open House Chicago”, a free, city-wide, behind-the-scenes look at many of Chicago’s great places and spaces.   The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Open House Chicago” offered behind-the-scenes access to over 150 buildings.  This was the second annual open house event and it offered an amazing opportunity to observe some impressive architecture.  I found it a great chance to explore some cool buildings I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to see, and now you can too!


From Rockford it was a quick drive into Harvard and a few hours on the Metra to take me into the city.  My first stop was at the Civic Opera House, a beautiful theater designed by architecture firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and opened in 1929.  Note the repeating Sock and Buskin (Comedy/Tragedy mask faces) as a detail in many ceilings, railings, & Lighting fixtures.  Very cool Art Deco!

My next Stop was The Chicago Temple Building, best known for its “chapel in the sky,” the highest place of worship above ground level.  Completed in 1924, this building had some great views. It currently is the tallest church building in the world and until 1930 was the tallest building in the world!

Before lunch I made one more quick stop at The Church of Christ Scientist and was impressed with the stunning forms and spaces.  Designed by architect Harry Weese the church is a modern style with an interesting sunken garden. (no photos sorry!)

            Stopped for lunch at the infamous Billy Goat Tavern.  This little gem is located under Michigan Avenue.  The restaurant was made famous by an early SNL skit that the restaurant still lives up to.  Other notable info about this restaurant is that according to legend the original owner put the curse of the Billy goat on the Chicago Cubs.  Allegedly, during game 4 of the 1945 World Series game (a home game at Wrigley) Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis attempted to bring a pet goat (the tavern mascot) into the game.  Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley ejected Sianis and goat because of the goat's smell. Supposedly, Sianis placed a curse on the team that they would not win another pennant or play in a World Series again.

The Chicago Open House also featured several large architecture firms.  I got a chance to visit SOM, Gensler and the Structural engineering offices of Thorton Tomasetti.  This last picture is a Model of the city of Chicago in the offices of SOM.  (There are actually TWO models; one in the building lobby, and one in the SOM office.  however no photographs were allowed in the SOM office so this is a picture of the model in the building lobby)

Hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventure.  Make sure you mark your calendar for next year’s Open House Chicago!

Stay tuned for more exciting Tyson and Billy Blog’s to come!!!


-Carl Miller


*Photography by my accomplice Sean Ogilby

**Information gathered from tour guides, pamphlets, and Wikipedia.


AIA 2012 in Washington D.C.


If you've been following our Facebook Page you know Ron Billy (Our President) was at AIA 2012 in Washington D.C. last week.

As architects our field is always advancing. Our focus is to connect with continuing education and learning opportunities to stay on top of what's new, changing, and improving in the field of Architecture.

Ron did take some time between classes to catch a baseball game at Nationals Park through a AIA hosted event, and a quick tour through the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Here are the pictures he brought back, enjoy!

Nationals Park

Nationals Park is the nation's first major professional stadium to become LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The project incorporates a variety of sustainable design elements.

AIA Exhibitor's Hall

General Assembly & Key Note Speakers

Notable Art from the Exhibitor's Hall: barstools, bikes, and kayaks!

Tile Boots

Beautiful Sculptured Stone Fixture at the Washington Convention Center

 ~ Pictures and a little bit of history from Ron's National Mall tour ~

The Treasury Department

The original Treasury building was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and partially destroyed by fire in 1801. In 1836, Congress authorized the construction of a "fireproof building", and commissioned architect Robert Mills (also the architect of the Washington Monument and the Patent Office Building).

Impressive fact:  the original 30 columns are 36 feet tall, and carved out of a single block of granite!

After many years of additions the design intent "to leave unobstructed the view from the White House to the Capitol" was lost along the way.  Still it is very stoic with its beautiful Greek Revival architecture.

The White House

History on the architect: The White House was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical style.

Old Executive Office Building / Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Building

This building was originally called the State, War, and Navy Building because it housed those departments. It was built between 1871 and 1888 in the French Second Empire-style by Alfred B. Mullett.

World War II Memorial

This Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home.

Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

This memorial is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle with walls 164 feet long, 8 inches thick representing more than 100 tons of highly polished "Academy Black" granite.

Within the walled triangle are 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord. Each stature ranges between 7 feet 3 inches and 7 feet 6 inches tall and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds.

More than 2,500 photographic and archival images are sandblasted onto the wall which represent the land, sea and air troops who supported those who fought in the war.

The figures represent a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer. They are dressed in full combat gear, dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes which represent the rugged terrain of Korea.

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial honors the nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Dedicated in 1922, architect Henry Bacon designed the Greek-inspired temple.

The Lincoln statue, which tops out at 19 feet, was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, the chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts.

Architecture at the Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

Did you know  the Washington Monument was built as a tribute to our first president, George Washington?

Architectural tidbit: The marble monument was made to look like an Egyptian obelisk. The Washington Monument has two different shades of white as construction halted during the Civil War when funding ran out. When it resumed in 1879, marble was imported from a different state.Parts of the Washington Monument are under construction for renovations as a result of earthquake damage in August 2011

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War.

Design by Maya Ying Lin the Memorial Wallis made up of two gabbro walls 246 feet 9 inches long.

When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together.

Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian's first building is a grand structure built in 1855, which now houses most of the museum's administrative offices.

The Smithsonian Castle was designed by Mr. James Renwick, Jr. (also known for New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral).

The design is Norman in style, described as "a 12th-century combination of late Romanesque and early Gothic motifs".

View down Pennsylvania Avenue

As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, I find it a appropriate time to remember our Nation's History and reflect on those these monuments and memorials give tribute to. For their greatness and bravery we know freedom.

~ Kelly


Nationals Park, Treasury Building, The White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Building, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, & Smithsonian Castle.


Coming to Life

Our office is all over the place. This month we'll have been in Illinois (of course), Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Iowa.

Every project we see the evolution of plans to a fully occupied building. I thought it would be interesting to share a small slice of that evolution with you.

Focusing on our project for senior housing in Waterloo, Iowa.

We start out with a site that looks like this:

Jump forward and we have prep for the foundation and the elevator shaft going in.

This step always seems to happen so fast. The crane arrives and the next thing you know, your foundation is now supporting a structure.

Framing is my personal favorite. The rooms become tangible and the interior spaces take shape.

A view down the corridor.

The view from the second floor looking up into the 3rd floor and roof.

We take pictures and document things like this:

And along the way we go from in progress …

to fully framed, wrapped, and siding beginning to go on.

The canopy taking shape.

And the exterior's framed skeleton and structure …

… becomes a building.

As architects I don't know if there is a greater pleasure than watching the plans we've agonized over come to life.

~ Kelly




Fort Madison, Iowa

Our team is currently road tripping to Iowa dodging snowstorms and icy roads to check in on our projects. Although field reports in early January are far from glamorous, our mild winter has been a boon for construction and not all together dismal for field visits.

That being said, I sit at my desk and the guys bring me back pictures to create our blog posts with. I'm not the one with frozen toes on a mission to bring back pictures to quell my demands for blog content.

Thaddeus was kind enough to gear up and visit Fort Madison's historic sites and bring back wonderful pictures.

A very brief history on Fort Madison:

Fort Madison was established as a military post along the Mississippi River built in 1808 and survived until intentional destruction in 1813. It was named for President James Madison and occupied during the war of 1812.

Originally built by the U.S. Army to control the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase territories and trade with the Native Americans in the Upper Mississippi River region. It is known as the site of Blackhawk’s first battle with U.S. Troops.

As of 1804 the U.S. had control over western Illinois and parts of what is now Iowa due to a disputed 1804 treaty with the Sauk and affiliated tribes. The U.S. Army saw the need to post a fort along the Mississippi and monitor the major trading route into the interior of Iowa.


Wikipedia ~ Artists rendering of Fort Madison

The original Fort was poorly placed as it was constructed next to a deep ravine and the base of a bluff providing a safe location for forces opposing the Fort to reign destruction upon them from above.

Black Hawk lamented over the new fort, and disparaged its construction in his autobiography:

On our arrival we found that they were building a fort. The soldiers were busily engaged in cutting timber, and I observed that they took their arms with them when they went to the woods. The whole party acted as they would do in an enemy's country. The chiefs held a council with the officers, or head men of the party, which I did not attend, but understood from them that the war chief had said that they were building homes for a trader who was coming there to live, and would sell us goods very cheap, and that the soldiers were to remain to keep him company. We were pleased at this information ad hoped that it was all true, but we were not so credulous as to believe that all these buildings were intended merely for the accommodation of a trader. Being distrustful of their intentions, we were anxious for them to leave off building and go back down the river.

—Black Hawk, Autobiography (1882)

Given the deception evident in Black Hawk's account, almost from the beginning the Fort was attacked by the Sauk.

Efforts to increase the Fort's defenses proved futile to the geographical advantage of those attacking it.

The War of 1812 fueled the British-allied Sauk and other tribes to began a determined effort to push out the Americans and reclaim control of the upper Mississippi.

Beginning in July 1813, attacks on troops outside the Fort led to a siege with conditions so dangerous that the bodies of soldiers killed outside the Fort could not be recovered, and troops could not leave the Fort. Outbuildings were intentionally burned by the Army to prevent them from falling into Indian hands.

It is believed that in September of 1813 after weeks of this paralyzing siege, the Army finally abandoned the post, burning it as they evacuated.

Black Hawk observed the ruins soon after. “We started in canoes, and descended the Mississippi, until we arrived near the place where Fort Madison had stood. It had been abandoned and burned by the whites, and nothing remained but the chimneys. We were pleased to see that the white people had retired from the country.”

—Black Hawk, Autobiography (1882)

What can be visited today as the Historical Fort Madison was constructed in 1983 on the historical "site", but wisely relocated farther away from the bluff and ravine.

Fort Madison is charmingly centered between the Mississippi River and their historic downtown.

Within sightline of the Fort is the Fort Madison Toll Bridge. The last remaining and world's largest double swing-span bridge on the Mississippi River containing a top level for cars and a bottom level for trains.

(Pictured below, background right. )

70+ trains per day to cross the Mississippi, as well as opening over 2000 times per year to allow barges to move goods and materials across the world.

Long after the Fort Madison of 1808 the city of Fort Madison was settled in 1838 as a river town trading post. The town eventually became reliant upon the railroads and manufacturing.

Pictured above the Steam Locomotive 2913: this 708,000 lb. engine, built in 1944, had been used to haul war equipment in the western states. Engine 2913 was retired October 1955.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the larger railroads in the United States.

Over 100 freight trains a day still pass through Fort Madison.

Engine #2913 is the A.T. & S.F. Steam Engine 2913 given to the city by the Sante Fe in 1959. Dedicated in 1960 during the 72nd anniversary of the Sante Fe’s first through train to Chicago and Kansas City.

Other Fort Madison attractions include the Sheaffer Pen Museum, Daniel McConn Barn, Memorial for Veterans of the Civil War, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad Depot, the Albright “Betsy Ross” House, and the Sante Fe Bridge.

I hope your travels will take you through Fort Madison to this charming city with their rich history.

~ Kelly

Pictures By: Thaddeus

Edited By: Yours Truly

Sources for Information:

Wikipedia: Fort Madison, Iowa

Wikipedia: Toll Bridge

Wikipedia: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

The Great American Stations

Fort Madison: City Homepage



Edited Field Pictures

Thaddeus was in Iowa this week (pre snow storm of course) and brought me back pictures from Fort Madison. Stay tuned next week for a new blog post on his Iowa travels.

In the meantime I tweaked one of the field report photos in Photoshop over lunch and thought I'd share.



Side by Side

I love field photos of exposed framing ... so cool.

~ Kelly


Revisiting Rock Island

A meeting yesterday took me on a exceptionally rainy drive over to Rock Island, Illinois.

It poured the entire way down, rained even harder while I was ducking between site visits, and then at last, it stopped.

Just in time for me to snap a few pictures and head back to Rockford. Go figure.

Gray, overcast skies were the order of the day and my "travel" pictures are all blah.
Blah sky, blah color, blah contrast. To make these pictures even more wonky the sun kind of came out, but mostly was a bright overcast which resulted in a hazy look.

So to match the mood of yesterday's rain I colorized these photos this morning in Photoshop.

You What?? I colorizing these, which is a process in Photoshop whereby I created a "effect" by dividing each photo into multiple sections and colorizing each section with a different color. Tweak the contrast, fade, channels, curves, etc. etc. and the result: A vintage effect.

Which resolves my aforementioned blah issues and instead makes it look intentional.

For example, the colorized picture above and the SOOC (straight out of camera) below:

Ah, much better. I like the moody effect it creates like these doors:

Street art displayed in alleys all over downtown...

This sign made me want to go in and buy their coffee, but I was iffy about jumping back out into the rain from the protection of the car. And yes, 99.9% of these pictures are taken from my cozy seat in the car.

This is my .01% where I had to put one foot out the door to get the right angle.

The Quad City Botanical Center with their beautiful gardens.

History of Rock Island mural in downtown.
I didn't realize until looking at this picture this morning this is a side of a entire building (notice the step downs on the top). I thought this was a sign, it's so well done.

And every time I take travel pictures I get seriously honked at. I made someone very angry for stalling them at the light. I think this person could have used a Jolly Burger.
*Geesh. 2 seconds, buddy. Relax already. I'm zooming in!

Speaking of burgers, this place looked … interesting. I love the self proclaimed "good food."

Strange but captivating sculptures in their outdoor dining area. I have no idea what these are, but they photographed wonderfully. I'm a little lost between the shark on the roof and this yard art … but I would eat here if only to see if their sign is bait and switch or true to the claim.

Church Doors:
I've seen modern corporate offices with architectural salvage doors from churches before. These would be a great item to reclaim. Too bad they are still being used =)

This window is humongous. The scale of this window compared to the building is startling. Notice the tiny little window AC? That's normal size - this window is truly that big.

Enchanting building that houses the county office.

Stunning architectural detailing.

A lovely old home converted to senior housing.

Even the porch is lovely.

Apartment housing downtown. The back view of this building.

And as you know by now, I love aged painted brick. I photograph it often. But - oh! - the colors.

This picture hails from a church that is currently for sale. Such a grandiose building. I hope someone buys it and brings it back to its' original splendor.

As you head out of downtown, the homes are as varied and unique as the downtown.

3 Fireplaces in this home?! I wanted to knock on their door and go see them. That often frightens people, so I opted not to, and besides it was raining again. So I stayed in the car.

What dignity and wonderful architecture this building has ... this is the street view of the before and after picture posted earlier.

To see more pictures and for links to Rock Island, visit our earlier post: Enchanted with Rock Island.

Hope you visit here soon … this fall would be a good time to take a trip with the fall color along the river =)

~ Kelly


Visiting Danville, IL

Last week a day trip took me to Danville, IL for a mid morning meeting. Although to most, leaving home at 4:45 am to make a meeting is not the most enticing prospect, I personally was excited to be driving to Danville.

And coffee helped. Lots and lots of coffee.

I have become very familiar with Danville over the last 8 years as my father-in-law relocated here for work for a few years. My husband and I have spent many weekends in transit to and from Danville to be with family and enjoy this beautiful little city.

I learned to water ski on this lake. I am sure the locals still talk about the crazy brunette who screamed her way across the lake. Apparently I was not very quiet during this learning process ... in my defense I was positive they could hear me in the boat so I yelled "feedback" the entire time. I will boast I got out of the water on the second try and stayed up for a long time before I caught another boat's wake and promptly face planted with much aplomb.

I had some "feedback" after that event!

Gorgeous lake that - thanks to our readers - was originally the town of Denmark that was flooded to create Lake Vermilion. Now Denmark Road crosses the lake. Denmark remains infamously know for their saloons and drunken street brawls. Not all reputations can be put away with a little flooding.

The evidence of this industrial boom is in the beautiful and unique architecture.  I cannot speak to the specific architectural influences in Danville, but they are wonderfully varied.

Gorgeous church. This is the first picture I took when I arrived. Found my meeting location and then rerouted back to snap these pictures.

I have found that many booming industrial cities from the late 1800s to mid 1900s have expansive architectural influences. Railroads primarily connected these major industrial cities, and with the ease of travel and accessibility they became a beautiful melting pot of styles.

So stoically traditional.

Fantastic murals around the downtown area depicting Danville's history.

What a great idea for a city to illustrate their roots and historical events.

This building is in process of being renovated into apartments I believe.

I alerted the construction crew while taking these pictures. I parked across the street and took about 10 pictures of this building with the zoom lens all the way out waiting for the crew to get out of the picture frame.

There was a handful of the crew standing there staring back at me, and someone started to approach me across the street.

What did I do? Oh, just completely panicked.

I jumped back into the car and made tracks.  I don't know why this scared me. Probably this person was very friendly, or maybe they weren't even walking towards me - I was in a parking lot after all. But the car was there - door open, engine running - so I sped away with slightly shaking hands. I am such a pansy!

YWCA Building:

I want to live here. What a amazing house!

Once again, parked and walked to take pictures and a very concerned citizen started yelling at me from their porch. After having a heart attack where I stood,  I waved back and yelled:
"I'm with an architect! It's okay!"

It totally worked … they waved and went back inside. I narrowly missed being accosted by the neighborhood watch!

I did find, however, my new phrase to remove myself from impending danger. I think it was following it up by " It's okay!" that worked. I soothed the angry porch bear. Whew!

Continuing this theme, while driving out of town, I saw this antique wagon in someone's yard.

FYI, outside of town you do not need to post "beware of dog" signs.

A pair of dogs found me very interesting and about the time I was considering changing angles to remove the parked cars in the background … the dogs said "no way".

The scene following this declarative statement made by the dogs proved I can and will run across gravel at top speed in high heels.

It's one of my many talents.

Not only did I get the picture, but made it to the car in record time. Thanks to my earlier experience - door open, engine running is the best way to go. I am showing this picture with the background as my own personal badge of honor. I earned it.

So back to more pictures that did not invoke my flight or flight response … more murals. Such wonderful, wonderful murals.

Read the description! So interesting.

Danville trivia: What were the two runner up names for Danville?

Times up! (I know you blog readers skim anyway!)

Answer: "Williamsburg" and "Williamstown"

Celebrities of Danville:

Why? "Williamsburg" and "Williamstown"?  Amos Williams was a prominent member of the then unnamed Danville who opened the first Danville post office in his home. Amos Williams was also the organizer of Vermilion and Edgar Counties.

(Thank you Wikipedia ...I love trivia!)

Uncle Joe Cannon a.k.a the Iron Duke of Congress.  (Best "a.k.a" title ever.)

What a claim to fame. First cover subject of Time Magazine in 1923!

Amazing colors on this brick wall!

His biography describes him as "Tough, smart and profane… among the most powerful Speakers ever. A bred-in-the-bone Republican from Illinois, he was first elected to the House in 1872 …and served a total of 46 years."

Follow this link to read Time Magazine's bio on this extraordinary man.
I love the opening quote of this article. My kind of guy.

Another famous face, but no background story needed for him.

Fantastic old factory: They produced over 300,000 jackets for WWII army personnel.

I am so fascinated by WWII history and the incredible American workforce that went in to the war effort.

Faded brick murals are my favorite. Such amazing colors.

So many terrific things to see and visit in this city.

From their incredible architecture …

and distinguished buildings…

To the picturesque drive that crosses the lake …

... what a captivating city!

Danville is such a wonderful place to visit. Even though Danville is technically central Illinois, they definitely can boast to having Southern Charm that invites you to spend a afternoon, a day, a week and explore this city. I was wishing I had more time to wander downtown and find the rest of those incredible murals.

Visit the City of Danville's Website for more:

Resources for this Blog:

Wikipedia ~ Danville, IL

Time Magazine

~ Kelly

We've had some kind corrections since this original post.

Thank you to our readers and comment contributors ~ we have correctly relabeled the YWCA building and identified the origin of Lake Vermillion.

We immensely appreciate your time to read and provide feedback.

~ Kelly (12/7/11)