River District Historical Walk-Abouts June 18

The River District Association’s third annual series of Historical Walk-Abouts continues Saturday, June 18 with a focus on the “Cultural Corridor.” The outdoor walking tours are free and open to the public.

Rockford has more than 150 years of history and individuals are invited to join a volunteer guide to discover the rich architectural and historical legacy of Rockford’s downtown River District.

This month, the River District explores the northern leg of the Cultural Corridor. Did you know Rockford’s Mendelssohn Club is the oldest continuous community music organization in the country? Did you know Child magazine ranked the Children’s Discovery Museum in the top five children museums in the country? Were you aware the Coronado Theatre renovation received awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation? The arts are alive and well in Rockford and a large cluster of art venues can be found in the River District. Participants will learn about the people who were instrumental in creating Rockford’s art community and will also see excellent examples of the adaptive use of older buildings, as well as beautiful renovations.

This month’s walk features a special inside tour of the Rockford Elk’s Lodge. The Lawrence Buck masterpiece has been vacant for more than 10 years. The current caregivers have worked to stabilize the building, and hope to find a developer or tenant to restore the building to its former glory.

Start time is 10 a.m. and the walk is expected to last about two hours. Participants are asked to arrive a few minutes early. Meeting place is the north end of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall at West State Street. Free parking is available on the street, and in nearby surface lots and parking decks. The walk is free.

River District Association is a private, non-profit organization with business and residential members. The organization’s mission is to create a growing, thriving, prosperous business and residential community in the heart of the City. River District is a downtown neighborhood with geographical boundaries. With over 460 members, the organization works to plan, promote, and preserve the District’s assets and heritage.

For more information, contact the River District office at 964-6221.

From the June 15-21, 2005, issue

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