After taking a few photos around Peoria of vacant buildings the other week for MBIP, I noticed there are a lot more impressionable vacancies in this city. So we decided to do a second installment of empty Peoria storefronts with more to follow. Here’s the most recent batch of bolted-up buildings for your perusal.
A&W Root Beer Stand on South Adams
The classic orange roof highlights this fast food classic including curb service. Two other A & W's were one on Prospect and another near University and War Memorial, right up the road from the Friendly Valley Tap.
River Station On Water Street
Opening in the late '70's to fantastic fanfare, the River Station was one of the first "new" businesses in downtown Peoria after most stores closed or moved to the Northwoods Mall. It was a nice steakhouse and a casual, yet somewhat high-end restaurant located in the former Peoria train depot on the riverfront. It was very successful for many years only to close, then re-open, close again, re-open once more as Tilley's and finally close again in 2008. Martini's is currently situated in one part of this location now.
Clark Gas Station On Sterling Avenue
This empty gas station is located directly across the street from a former Pizza Hut. This was once a busy place where gas flowed freely and you could fill up your tank for ten bucks or less. It’s now one of many vacant gas stations in the area haunted by gas station jockeys of the past, waiting in the wind to wipe your windshield and check your oil. Beep, beep, beep, beep...yeah!
Tom Cats On Pioneer Park
The Convenient Store On North University
This is the empty former Convenient store on North University, a classic spot for kids on bikes to get quick fixes of candy, comics, baseball cards and, of course, giant sugar-bomb drinks and slushees. Also handy for pick ups of beer, overpriced Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee items and porn mags. Something for the whole family! Convenient stores used to be scattered throughout Peoria on Main Street, Loucks and Sheridan Road. This national chain of stores met their demise by their lack of gas station pumps, something that 7-11 had installed. This spot was converted to a Jazzercise for many years. It's been vacant for a few months since Jazzercise moved to nearby Tanglewood Plaza, near the former Webb's Pub.
Channel 19 On Top Of The Creve Coeur Hill
The home of Clark Smith, Rollie Kieth and Bids From the Kids. Hard to believe such a humble venue endured for nearly 4 decades. Still used for satellite reception, the station was consolidated with WEEK-TV a couple years ago.
Shopko On Pioneer Park and Allen Road
A big-box, ugly Walmart clone stands empty on Pioneer Park. It's been rumored to be the location for a new library and it has been vacant for about 5 years. "Shopko" proved to be an unfortunate name and an even more unfortunate store.
Madison Theater on Madison between Main and Hamilton
The Grandaddy of landmark Peoria vacancies. Once the home of vaudeville acts and movies featuring midnight film extravaganzas, this classic Peoria building now sits empty and locked up to the public. The Madison reinvented itself as a viable concert venue in the 80’s and 90’s before shuttering for a second time. It’s most likely to meet a wrecking ball soon due to millions of dollars of repairs to be done. A local group has started an online fundraising group to save the Madison.
Bonus Photo From wendyvee @ Roadside Wonders!
MBIP commenter and pal, wendyvee from Roadside Wonders just tweeted this picture on Twitter and it has made my weekend! Not only did she get me and The Easter Bunny in, she also got Gray's Papaya and The Distinguised Wakamba Lounge! Too freaking cool for school! Thanks, wendyvee, you rule!