Tag: Freeport

  • ‘Rite Way Walkway’ and ‘breakfast run’

    ‘Rite Way Walkway’ and ‘breakfast run’

    The legacy of iconic stores in Freeport is apparent if you know what to look for. Rite-Way furniture and appliance has operated since 1972, and its current location once housed J.C. Penney and Montgomery Ward, Nearby, you can still see the mark left by Woolworths, its name still embedded in the sidewalk. In the U.S.,…

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  • Lincoln Douglas Center

    Lincoln Douglas Center

    Across from the county courthouse sits the Lincoln Douglas Center, built in 1897. According to the building’s current owners, the structure features an Italian Renaissance style. The original owners, the German Insurance Company, went bankrupt after the great quake hit San Francisco in 1906. The county courthouse hosts a monument “To the heroic dead of…

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  • Drinking mural

    Drinking mural

    This colorful mural adorns the side of a small pub. Across the street is a Classic Cinemas movie theater with a surprising number of screens given its diminutive marquee and box office. (top) Drinking Mural and (above) Delivery Day, March 6, 2024. Freeport, Illinois.

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  • Freeport wings

    Freeport wings

    We’ll continue the mural theme today and tomorrow, with this pair of wings accompanied with the words “Love, #WhatGoodAreWings IF YOU DON’T FLY. #BeFREE.”

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  • Pretzel Shop

    Pretzel Shop

    New businesses are reappearing in downtown Freeport, and the city has commissioned (or allowed) new murals in several places—including in this space between buildings. Of course, Freeport has long been known for pretzels, owing to its settlement by German Americans. From 1908-1915, the minor league baseball team played, the Freeport Pretzels. They one a league…

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  • The Sunshine Corner

    The Sunshine Corner

    This “drive thru” liquor store has closed, having seen better days. A couple blocks over, a defunct One Hour Cleaners sits in a building that was constructed in 1897. In the window, you can see a blue van with flower-power decals and an 80s era American car. A nearby shop placed mannequins in its upper…

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  • Project house

    Project house

    In the last post, I referenced a “project car,” and I name this image “Project House.” It’s sad that a house of this size can fall into such a decrepit state, and a few blocks away, house after house is in the same condition. Tomorrow, I’ll return to downtown Freeport, and we’re almost done with…

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  • Rolling, rolling, rolling …

    Rolling, rolling, rolling …

    Driving around Freeport, I found plenty of interesting spots, including a yard with a variety of vehicles that have been sitting around for decades. North American Van Lines, which still operates as a moving services company, was owned by PepsiCo at one point. Behind the trucks sat this project car. The building to the left…

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  • Real Deal Mistake

    Real Deal Mistake

    See how long it takes you to find the typo in this photo. Just a few blocks from the abandoned factory is this defunct convenience shop. Nearby is a beautifully renovated former railroad depot that is now owned by a private business. Across the street from the convenience store is this billboard. (top) Real Deal…

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  • Rawleigh’s Plant

    Rawleigh’s Plant

    My last image of the former Rawleigh’s factory in downtown Freeport, Illinois. One of the most striking aspects of this building is the space that has been cleared from around it. Nearby Rockford has a similar abandoned building, although revitalization is starting to encroach upon it. Rawleigh’s Plant, March 6, 2024. Freeport, Illinois.

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  • Rawleigh Skybridge

    Rawleigh Skybridge

    I love the architectural elements that are common among factory buildings of this era (1890s–1910s). Common among buildings that I’ve seen is this skybridge, robust and adorned with the company name. Again, there’s more broken windows and lots of glass on the sidewalk even though the attached building at right remains in use. On the…

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  • Factory windows

    Factory windows

    Here’s another interpretation of the factory windows, this time in B&W. I can’t help but think of all the potential business the Freeport Glass Company could have. Around the corner (at left), we see an open window and screens (far left) that protect the open window. (top) Factory Windows and (left) Fresh Air, March 6,…

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  • Save me

    Save me

    In this stylized photo (B&W with a fade to color), we get a fuller view of the Rawleigh’s abandoned manufacturing building in downtown Freeport. The company still exists and has an online presence at https://www.wtrawleigh.com/. They have a slogan, “A Friend of the Family Since 1889.” According to their website, the company is now based…

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  • Bricks & Glass

    Bricks & Glass

    Warnings on the exterior doors tell of asbestos and health hazards. Through these shattered windows. you can see a tree growing, metal tanks used for production, and lots of broken glass everywhere. Bricks & Glass, March 6, 2024. Freeport, Illinois.

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  • Freeport glass company

    Freeport glass company

    Downtown Freeport is a bit like stepping back into the 1980s, as the infrastructure from the 50s, 60s and 70s is still very apparent. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of the Freeport Glass Company’s building sitting opposite a large, abandoned factory—and its abundant shattered windows—that will be the photo focus for the next…

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  • Exit


    Today, we’re leaving the hotel, and tomorrow we’ll explore downtown Freeport. Even though it was the middle of the day, this hotel weirded me out. Mattresses were discarded in the dumpster, most of the lower-level windows were boarded up, and the back door was propped open. I wasn’t (and still am not) brave enough to…

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