Another Neighborhood Visit

December 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

From Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library, Springfield's Public Library

From Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library, Springfield’s Public Library

I was reminded once more of the contrast between Susan’s life and mine when I discovered this undated photo of curious onlookers as they watched firemen fight a fire on the 800 block of South Fourth. Even though I described the block extensively last week in  “A Visit to the Neighborhood” , I couldn’t resist adding this photo to the record of what used to be.

According to the 1902 Springfield City Directory, the house that is on fire belonged to Mrs. E. A. Wallace the year that Susan commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to remodel her father’s house.  Claire Wallace, a teacher at McClernand School, lived with her mother in the home.  The house closest to the camera belonged to G. A. Lochman, a jeweler and optician.  John Rippon lived on the other side of the Wallace home.  Rippon was the owner of Excelsior Machine Works.  He had earlier  built a home at 1317 North Third Street which he sold in 1900.  The North Third Street house has been restored and is currently a bed and breakfast.  The fourth house in the picture is the Bartel home pictured in “A Visit to the Neighborhood.”  

Trying to emulate the concept of then and now done so well on the website  Springfield Rewind, I took the picture below.  Power lines have replaced lamp posts, and a few details of the houses have survived including the columns on the Rippon house.  I didn’t notice the empty recycle bin in the picture until I got home.  I’m glad it’s there because it adds another dimension to the contrast in life styles between Susan and me. 

4th street today

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