Square at Night

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

In view of the street decoration program of the merchants for this year's State Fair, it may be interesting to look back to the special illuminations provided for this great event forty years and more ago. In the heyday of the steel arches on the Square, extending from the late Nineties through the first World War, they were the big feature of the decorative scheme of the city's downtown section. Myriad lights and light sprays were used on these arches for State Fair nights and other gala occasions. This old picture by the late Guy Mathis shows a night scene looking north on Sixth Street from a point south of Adams. Note the graceful illuminating effects on the arches, also the lights strung along Sixth as far as the Illinois Central Station at Madison Street. John Lutz, haberdasher, and Bressmer's dry goods store had special window displays, as did most of the merchants up the street and around the Square. Macpherson & Edward's Baston Store had a big diamond-shaped design on the east side. As this was one of those long time-exposures, the pedestrians and the street traffic do not appear, but as any old-timer will tell you, those State Fair crowds were "all over the place."

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.