Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dwight, Illinois

Dwight, Illinois hosts an original stretch of Route 66, and several unique historic finds.

The Dwight railroad depot, a beautiful structure built by the Chicago and Alton Railroad in 1891 in the Romanesque style to a design by architect Henry Ives Cobb. The station has been on the National Register of Historic Places since December 1982.
This station had all of the style and grace of some of the train stations we visited in Germany in 2006.
The depot still serves Amtrak passenger traffic between Chicago and St. Louis via the Lincoln Service trains. Travel time to downtown Chicago is about 1 1/2 hours.

Also in Dwight is one of only three banks designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, one of my favorite architects.
This bank, called the Frank L. Smith Bank, also known as the First National Bank of Dwight, was constructed in 1905 and opened in 1906. The design of the bank building is quite simple, unlike the classical influences that were commonly used at the time.
From the outside, the bank did not scream Frank Lloyd Wright to me, but it was closed and we were unable to check out the inside on this visit. I would like to have a look at the Roman brick fireplace.

We'll be back to Dwight to check out some more of the Route 66 sites in town, including some of the historic gas stations.

Dwight Railroad Depot
119 W. Main Street
Dwight, IL 60420

First National Bank of Dwight
122 W. Main Street
Dwight, IL 60420

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