the Parkview

Overlooking West Side Park, the Parkview has always had a prominent location. Its architecture also makes the building stand out to both users of the Park and those that pass by on University Avenue and State Street.

The Parkview was listed as a Local Landmark on October 19, 1999, under three criteria:

(b) The property is associated with an important person or event in national, state or local history.

(e) The property is identifiable as an established and familiar visual feature in the community owing to its unique location or physical characteristics.

(f) The property is one of the few remaining examples of a particular architectural style or use, or is an example, which clearly represents a major architectural style, and has undergone little or no alteration since its construction.

View enlarged image of the Parkview

The Parkview.

The Parkview building is an eclectic mix of revival styles. Being a mix of styles rather than a pure style does not necessarily reduce the significance of the property. The castellations are not a common feature in any one-revival style;¬† however the casement windows and flattened arch entrance are more common in Tudor Revival style. The combination of architectural elements on this property suggests that the building should simply be classified as an ‘eclectic revival style’.

Two of the original residents  of the building have significance in local history.

Albert Eisner opened a few Piggly-Wiggly stores in Champaign, but soon founded the local/regional Eisner Grocery chain which grew into a 43-store chain of supermarkets with operations in downstate Illinois and Western Indiana. In 1957 Jewel Foods (of Chicago) acquired Eisner Food Stores, and within a few years, the Eisner stores began to closely resemble Jewel in both appearance and marketing strategies, although Eisner continued to be managed from Champaign. The Eisner chain has since been wholly absorbed by Jewel. He sold his home at 301 W. University Avenue to the Mittendorf Funeral Chapel to become an original resident owner in the Parkview.

View enlarged image of the Eisner Grocery Store.

The Eisner Grocery Store
(photo from Pleasant Family Shopping website)

View enlarged image of the Former residence of Albert Eisner.

Former residence of Albert Eisner at 301 W. University. The Parkview can be seen in the rear.

More famous was Robert Zuppke, the Coach of the Illini football team from 1913 until 1941. This included the time of a major fund raising effort for the construction of the current football stadium. Memorial Stadium, named in honor of the Illini who lost their lives during World War I, was dedicated in 1924. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, Zuppke coached his teams to national titles in 1914, 1919, 1923, and 1927. The football field was renamed Zuppke Field in 1966 in his honor. Coach Zuppke is a well-known figure at University of Illinois and therefore Champaign history.

Chuck Bennis, Coach Robert Zuppke, and Jack Benyon ca. 1934
(Photograph © University of Illinois)

The playing field at Memorial Stadium was named for Coach Zuppke

Historic Preservation Report for the Parkview