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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 12:18 am

Letters to the Editor 9/20/18

The Howlett Building, named for former Secretary of State Michael J. Howlett, was formerly known as the Centennial Building.
Photo by Stacie Lewis



Among other things, the State of Illinois Bicentennial represents a golden opportunity to look back and appreciate the state’s centennial celebration. Events were held throughout Illinois back then as well but, without question, the most significant was the commitment to build the Centennial Memorial Building. The cornerstone was laid Oct. 5, 1918.

Located on the corner of Second and Edwards streets, it took five years to build and it remains a bold, magnificent building and an exquisite memorial. On its north face, the beautiful, columned side facing the Illinois State Capitol and its scenic grounds, are two historical plaques. One is devoted to Abraham Lincoln, affixed by the Sons of Union Veterans in 1940, and another was dedicated on Nov. 18, 1992, when the building was renamed for Michael J. Howlett.

Observing two centuries of statehood might actually be the quintessential time to consider adding a third plaque that would ideally encapsulate the historic significance of the site, the original name of the building, when and why it was built, and the purpose of Memorial Hall, aka the Hall of Flags.

The plaque would not only help visitors and tourists develop a finer appreciation of the Capitol complex but it would help our children and generations to follow acquire a better understanding of our state’s history. The building represents the audacious achievements, pride and commitment of those who called the Prairie State home during Illinois’ first 100 years of statehood.

Chuck Murphy


As many know, the clock tower from the historic Illinois Watch Company was encased in an ugly brick square and now serves as an EPA office (off of North Grand Avenue) in one of the strangest construction decisions anywhere. The top of the structure with the clock is still visible, poking out as a bizarre spectacle. This jumbled eyesore is said to be slated for demolition when the high-speed rail comes through.

What is the feasibility of saving the Illinois Watch Tower building inside and converting it into a train station for the new railway? Springfieldians could literally watch for trains in the Illinois Watch Building.

Part of it could even include some sort of museum for the nationally remembered Illinois Watch Company and have some of its timepieces or even a clock shop.

Jeff Pasquini


I would like to thank a CWLP lineman who took it upon himself to repair the street lights on South Lowell Avenue about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8. The street lights had been out for at least two weeks when he was making his rounds and saw the problem.

I went outside to talk to him. His name is John Martin, and CWLP must be proud to have such a good worker and such a respectful person representing them.

Thank you, John Martin and CWLP, for the light! Being without the lights for a while made our neighborhood even more aware of the importance of your work.

Dan Bringman


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