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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 3:43 AM
aspiringArchitect aspiringArchitect is offline
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Suburban Chicago - St. Charles

So this is the first thread in what I hope to become a series of Chicagoland's historical centers. I have alot of towns in mind that i'd like to take pictures of but with winter aproaching it won't be very easy. We shall see.

Anyway, to begin with, i'll start with the historic and somewhat wealthy downtown area of the city of St. Charles. Located aprox 40 miles from downtown Chicago and stradling the Fox River, this suburban center of about 32,000 people has been incorporated since 1874. The town is known for its excellent school district and cute downtown. It is also home to the historic Hotel Baker, which upon its completion in 1928 was supposedly the grandest small hotel in the country, with 55 rooms.

A map showing the distance between Chicago and St Charles. There is little suburban sprawl beyond the Fox River.

and here is amap of the downtown area, along with the route I took and some city landmarks that I took pictures of:


Alright, now onto the photos: Heading west into downtown.




Hotel Baker






The Art Deco city hall; a riverwalk is currently being built




Cool old church downtown...


...across from this park...


...and near these Italianate houses.


you can see some modern infill behind this old house












On the other side of the river (west) you will find these somewhat newer but equally as beautiful homes.
















There were a few not-so-nice homes downtown, as well






This one looks really old












And thats it for St. Charles. I hope to get somewhere this weekend, too for pictures. We'll see.

Oh, and btw, these were all shot with my super new Nikon D3000.
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Last edited by aspiringArchitect; Nov 4, 2009 at 10:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 4:34 AM
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Nice set. Looks like a very nice town, as is it's reputation. I never get out to the suburbs, so I'd look forward to more tours like this.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 5:24 AM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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^^^ I never really made it out to the suburbs as well when I was living in Chicago, so I too am looking forward to seeing photos from the different areas. The only ones that I can recall visiting are Mt Prospect, Park Ridge and Libertyville. (well, and Evanston & Wilmette which of course are separate as well)

Thanks for posting these photos! They have a Starbucks in downtown, so it must be a decently successful area.
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 6:29 AM
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Several of the Fox River towns (St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia) have done a pretty successful job with their downtowns, even though only Geneva has rail service. They have some actual topography, which is pretty unique for the Chicago area, and that makes for some really unusual and special places. It actually reminds me of some older Pittsburgh suburbs at times.

I'm waiting for the day when Aurora and Elgin are able to mount the same level of revitalization that Geneva and St. Charles have. Progress is being made!
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 5:34 PM
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I love that last shot! Looks nice, thanks!
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 6:34 PM
aspiringArchitect aspiringArchitect is offline
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Thanks for the comments, guys.

ardecila - Geneva is one of my favorite towns around here. They did (and are still doing) an awesome job making their downtown a place people want to be. I know some towns (including my own) have tried doing the same thing but not many have succeeded in quite the way Geneva has. That's actually the town I hope to get to this weekend to photograph.

stepper - Thanks! That's actually of the tree in my backyard I figured i'd sneek in because I thought it looked cool.
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Downtown and views | Views from the Trump | Urban bikeride
M Y O T H E R T H R E A D S
Millwaukee | Madison | Deer Valley, Utah | Grand Rapids | Chicagoland: Roselle, St. Charles, Wheaton, Woodstock
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 6:40 PM
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very nice... I look forward to more of these tours
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 7:44 PM
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I like this much better
 
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haven't been there in about 15 years, but i had some cousins who lived out there. used to love going to visit them. it was a great place to visit as a kid. thanks for the nostalgia.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 8:10 PM
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looks very nice. Thanks for the tour!
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 8:50 AM
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i grew up in geneva, and my mom and stepdad both worked at the baker hotel in the 80's when it was mainly a retirement home. they got married in the rose garden there. thanks for the tour!
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 9:40 PM
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Nice town and it's on the Metra line. I have been to Joliet, but not the northern Fox River towns. Unfortunately I have been to Shaumburg though.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 9:49 PM
aspiringArchitect aspiringArchitect is offline
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Well, Wheelingman, Schaumburg is a nice town as far as suburbanites are concerned. It has decent schools, a pretty low crime rate, nice parks, and plenty of shopping and restaurants. However, everything is sprawled out and there is no historical core really, and for that I understand why city dwellers would hate it.
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M Y C H I C A G O T H R E A D S
Downtown and views | Views from the Trump | Urban bikeride
M Y O T H E R T H R E A D S
Millwaukee | Madison | Deer Valley, Utah | Grand Rapids | Chicagoland: Roselle, St. Charles, Wheaton, Woodstock
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelingman04 View Post
Nice town and it's on the Metra line.
no, st. charles actually isn't on a metra line, the closest metra station would be a couple of miles south in neighboring geneva.

and great thread. st. charles really is a gem. in fact i love all of the towns up and down the fox river valley. i frequently ride my bike along the fox river bike trail and that part of chicagoland is so wonderful because the topography of the river valley combined with the historic and charming river towns is really a nice departure from the ubiquitous flatness/sameness of most of chicagoland.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Very interesting thread, congratulations.
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