Over two years ago I got a tour of what used to be Peoria Spalding Institute and is now The Spalding Pastoral Center. John and Jackie Skender work there and help to manage the Cursillo and Teens Encounter Christ programs out of that building and I met both of them and really had a great time visiting with them. John then gave me a tour of the building and at the very end he showed me something that really blew my mind, it was the attic at the top of the building and it’s covered with graffiti from students from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. I loved this attic and always wished I could’ve gotten some more photos. Well, two years later my wish will come true! I spoke with Jackie and I asked her if I could come back to take some more detailed photos of the Spalding Graffiti Attic and she told me to stop by, so let’s make tracks to...
The building formerly known as Peoria Spalding Institute which is now known as...
The Spalding Pastoral Center. I love this building, it’s really a part of Peoria history and it’s nice to see it standing tall and in such good shape. Let’s go inside and say hello. At one time in my life I would’ve felt a little sick about having to go to the office in high school, but not anymore!
There they are, John and Jackie Skender and that’s Bette seated in the middle of them! These are some of the nicest people in the world and I really enjoy visiting with them and trading tales about Peoria, high school and one interesting fact I discovered is that you don’t have to wear sandals to work here, but they all do! I love it, but I hope the next time I come around, John’s toenails are painted to match Jackie and Bette’s! These three work real hard for the Cursillo and Teens Encounter Christ programs that run out of this building and if you’re interested you can click here and here for more information and the address and phone number is at the bottom of the post. And now it’s time to climb up to the top of the building to the Spalding Graffiti Attic!
John’s leading the way and he pointed out this mosaic on the floor that was presented to the school by the Spalding Class of 1963. So cool that historic things like this are still in place in the building! As we made our way to the stairs, John showed me a book that was published recently by a friend of theirs, Ron Thorne. If the name, Ron Thorne sounds familiar, you may remember him from his WIRL show in the ‘60’s. He recently put out this book and you can purchase a copy here at The Spalding Pastoral Center! Okay, now it’s upwards we go!
John made another stop along the way to point out this piece of art to me. At first glance it looks like a painting and John told me it was of St. John Paul the 2nd and then he told me to look closer and I discovered this is a piece of art made entirely of bottle caps! This is so cool! The artist who did this work is Kathy Eroh and she’s a local Peoria artist and teacher. You can see more of her work right here.
Okay, we continue in an upward fashion up the stairs and we’ve reached our destination: The Spalding Graffiti Attic! I’m so glad to be back here and this time I’m going to try and capture the real feel of this room, so here we go!
There’s so much to see up here, but we’ll start over by the door and work our way outwards!
Let’s follow John up the stairs to more tags and graffiti up there! Anybody see any familiar names here?
All of this graffiti is amazing to look at, such a time capsule in one room! And I love this attic too, the wooden ceiling is so cool and the view of downtown Peoria is amazing! Thanks to John and Jackie for letting me have a return visit, I think I got a better feel for the room on this visit! Maybe now I'll quit obsessing over this room...but probably not!
And on my way out, I bought a copy of Ron’s book! You should stop by and get one too, it’s just ten bucks and you’ll not only get a nice local book by a Peoria author, you’ll be able to hang out with John, Jackie and Bette and if you ask real nicely, maybe they’ll give you a little peek at the Spalding Graffiti Attic! Thanks again to John, Jackie and Bette for letting me hang out and take pictures again, it was great to see you and I look forward to visiting again! We’ll see you all tomorrow!