— Temple Plaza —
"The Temple" - Plaque
Completed in 1901, the Temple Building occupied this site for 100 years. In 1879 members of the Olive Branch Lodge bought the corner lot at Vermilion and North Streets for a new Masonic Temple. The building was financed and built in 1900 - 1901 by two prominent Danville businessmen and politicians, Judge E. R. E. Kimbrough and Mayor Louis Platt. Architect Fred G. Brown designed the six story limestone and brick structure in the Classical Revival style. Commercial space occupied the lower floors, offices were on the third through fifth, and the Masonic Lodge on the sixth. A fire in 1987 and subsequent decay resulted in the building being razed in 2001. All that remains today is the arch which was the monumental entrance to the upper stories of the building.
"Danville, USA Sculpture" - Plaque
Identified below are several notable citizens of Danville depicted in the brick sculpture. Certain faces may be recognizable to some while others represent the various trades, professions, talents and contributions of everyday citizens.
1. Dr. William Fithian - Prominent physician, close friend of Lincoln, residence is now Vermilion County Museum.
2. Capt. William P. Black - Company commander during Civil War. He and John Black are only two brothers in U.S. History to win Congressional Medals of Honor.
3. Jasper C. Winslow - Elected Danville's first Mayor in 1868.
4. Laura Lee - Teacher, humanitarian, community center named for her.
5. Chief Keannekeuk - Native American Chief of the Kickapoo Tribe.
6. Wayman "Hickey" Mayberry - War hero, killed by sniper during World War I. American Legion Post 736 named for him.
7. Helen Morgan - Club singer, actress, appeared inh many movies and on radio.
8. Joseph G. "Uncle Joe" Cannon - Famed Danville Congressman and Speaker of the House.
9. Katherine Randolph - One of the founders of Red Mask Theater, its only director from 1936 - 1968.
10. Lottie Jones - Author, local historian, co-founder Illinois Printing Company.
11. Joe Tanner - Astronaut, Atlantis Mission STS - 66.
12. Red Ruffing - Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher with New York Yankees.
13. Charles Bradley - War hero, died in France during World War I. American Legion Post 736 named for him.
14. Lucy Woodbury - Bicycle enthusiast, early feminist.
"Danville U.S.A." - Plaque
Artistically, "Danville U.S.A." is my expression of the lively, personable people that I encountered here, the depth of the souls who live/lived in this place.
It is not the river, the architecture, nor the industries that are the things that exist here. Rather, it is the "spirit" of all who have built and are building Danville.
I was touched by these people - their perseverance; their tenacity; their love of where they live. At its core, this sculpture is a "family portrait" of yesterday, today and tomorrow - a loving reminder of how important it is to remember who we are as we build what we are to become.
Remember to - the sculpture does not stand alone. The old Temple Arc, the redesigned exterior wall and its arches, the bandstand, the landscape, the seat wall, the walkways and perhaps most of all, the sculpture site's central physical location are all integral to the complete presentation. All of these elements work in concert to create a powerful statement of the need for beauty that we constantly seek in our lives. Beauty completes us.
Donna L. Dobberfuhl, NSS, MFA
Sculptural Designs Atelier
[ Signature ]