Beautiful Historic Buildings Around Aurora, Illinois

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The Aurora, Illinois area has rich architectural history, including a significant presence of Victorian and Italianate architecture, with several structures certified by the National Register of Historic Places. Here's our list of some of the most beautiful historic buildings to check out around Aurora, Illinois:

  1. William Tanner House

305 Cedar Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630.906.0650

Built in 1857, this Italianate-style house was the home to prominent merchant William Tanner and his family.  The family owned the home until 1936 when it was donated to the Aurora Historical Society.  The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

  1. Two Brothers Roundhouse

205 N. Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505 | 630.264.2739

The Two Brothers Roundhouse is a full-service brewpub restaurant, music venue, and banquet space. It also features the Two Brothers Cafe and Beer Bar, as well as one of the largest and most unique beer gardens around. Passion for beer, love of food and appreciation for great architecture flourish in the walls of this historic 70,000 square-foot facility. The roundhouse was constructed in 1856 to serve Aurora on the Chicago & Aurora Railroad. The walls of the structure were built with locally quarried limestone from Batavia, Illinois. The building is the oldest limestone roundhouse in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  1. Paramount Theatre

23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60506 | 630.896.6666

In 1915, J.J. Rubens formed the Aurora Theater Company and began envisioning plans for a new theatre with a Venice theme. He called upon C.W. and George L. Rapp, nationally known architects of movie theatres, to be the designers. Combining Rubens’ Venetian theme with the fashionable Art Deco influence of the 1920s and early 1930s, nationally known architects Rapp & Rapp designed the breathtaking palace known as The Paramount Theatre. The $1 million-dollar building opened on September 3, 1931. Acoustics and sight lines were so well-designed, there was not a bad seat in the house. Recently named one of the Top Ten Theatres in Chicago by the League of Chicago Theatres, the Paramount continues to provide world-class entertainment. Tours of the historic Paramount Theatre cost $5 and are available by reservation only.

  1. Grand Army of the Republic Hall and Museum

23 E Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60507 | 630.256.3400

The newly renovated Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, Post 20, was built in 1878 as a monument to Aurora's Civil War veterans. The original octagonal structure was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Aurora architect Joseph P. Mulvey, and was constructed of rock-faced, ashlar-laid limestone quarried in Aurora. Over the past 20 years, the restoration of the building was completed with great attention to detail and accuracy, including precise recreations of the inlaid stained glass and woodwork in the main hall. The Grand Army of the Republic Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Museum is now open to the public for self-guided tours.

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  1. The Homestead 1854
  • Main Street, Plano, Illinois 60545 | 630.552.4322

Lewis Steward, the founder of the town of Plano, built the Homestead in 1854 to be patterned after the picturesque country cottages that are reminiscent of rural Tuscan villas. The house remained in the Steward family until 1954. The Homestead 1854’s current owners purchased the property—now a wedding and special event venue and boutique bed and breakfast—in July 2012. Whether you’re spending the night or visiting, it’s worth a trip to view the immaculate architecture, as well as the beautiful maze-like landscape surrounding the Homestead.

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