The City of Urbana has launched a new digital Downtown Urbana Historic District Walking Tour, encouraging participants to enjoy Urbana’s past and think about Urbana’s future.
Urbana Planning staff highlighted nine locations that show the past and the future of Downtown Urbana, including the Urbana Free Library; the Independent Media Center, formerly the Urbana Post Office; Princess Theater, now Cinema Gallery; and the Rose Bowl Tavern, once also a post office.
A short written background is provided for each of the buildings on the tour, and is accompanied by an audio clip so you can hear the information being read to you by staff in the tour application.
Two locations have brief video interviews: the Rose Bowl Tavern, and the Nat Cohen Building. There viewers can hear the owners of each building talk about history and how they see their building fit into the future of downtown Urbana.
The self-guided walking tour can be accessed on the phone application PocketSights. To enjoy the full experience, participants should download the PocketSights mobile application; it is available on iPhone as well as Android.
Interested participants can access the majority of the content, including the audio clips and the video interviews simply by visiting the tour on the PocketSights website – even from the comfort of their living rooms.
The National Park Service, in recognition of both its historical and governmental importance, and its architectural character, added the Downtown Urbana Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places on August 27, 2019.
To share this historic district with the public, the City of Urbana launched the Downtown Urbana Historic District Walking Tour to celebrate both Historic Preservation Month in May and its new Comprehensive Plan. .
The City of Urbana asks interested residents and visitors to check out www.imagineurbana.com to take a survey,
post ideas for the community to see, and drop “pins” on a map of places that deserve highlighting to help the City craft its new Comprehensive Plan, “Imagine Urbana.”
Learn more about historic properties in Downtown Urbana, and across the city, by visiting numerous
resources on the City’s website that have been curated by Urbana’s Historic Preservation Commission.
Upcoming Historic Downtown Urbana events and information can be found at the City’s website,