On Saturday, April 12, two new plaques were dedicated during the Boneyard Arts Festival as part of the Joseph W. Royer Arts and Architecture District in downtown Urbana.
The Royer Arts & Architecture District was created in 2007 to celebrate the work of local architect Joseph W. Royer while providing a focus for a new Arts District in downtown Urbana. Local architect Joseph W. Royer, a lifetime Urbana resident and graduate of the University of Illinois designed, the original library building. Royer also designed other well-known local buildings, such as the 1901 Champaign County Courthouse, Urbana High School, and the Historic Lincoln Hotel.
The Urbana Free Library found a permanent home in downtown Urbana in 1918, thanks to a $35,000 endowment by Mary E. Busey in memory of her husband, Samuel T. Busey, Civil War veteran, banker, and five-time Urbana Mayor (1880-1889). Recent additions and renovations have been made greatly increasing the library but retaining Royer’s elegant Beaux-Arts inspired design.
The Urbana Free Library would like to thank the Board of Trustees for their generous financial assistance, Councilman Dennis Roberts for his passionate historical vision, and the City of Urbana for their professional expertise, together which made this project possible.