The Grojean Building

The Grojean Building, 360 West State Street, Jacksonville

The Grojean Building is a three story limestone stone building dating from the middle of the nineteenth century. Like many downtown commercial buildings, the exterior of the lower floors were altered a number of times over the years. In the 1920’s, the storefront was changed with the installation of Art Deco-patterned glass in the transom area and a deep, arched “arcaded” display area. The building was again “modernized” in the postwar era when the transoms were covered with a rectilinear sign panel and them again in the 1970’s when the City of Jacksonville constructed a brick and aluminum architectural “canopy” all around the square. Those canopies are currently being removed, which allowed owner Tom Grojean to restore the building’s lower floors in 2002. The exterior restoration returned the elegance of one of the finest Art Deco facades in the state of Illinois. During the 2002 major renovation the first floor was updated to support commercial functions, and the second floor was converted into rental residential. This building inspired other upper-floor renovations in Jacksonville and is shown as a case study in Illinois Main Street’s Upstairs Downtown workshop. 

The Grojean Building was altered in the last quarter of the 20th century when the city of Jacksonville installed brick and aluminum canopies around the square. Those canopies are now being removed and allowed the Grojean building to be restored in 2002.

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Tips for construction of cardstock models:

  1. Print the model pages out in color onto cardstock. Normal weight paper will be too flimsy. Larger, more challenging buildings can take many sheets of cardstock. For example, the Gardner Museum takes 10 sheets; Old Main requires 17; while the Old State Capitol requires a substantial 41 sheets (not for the faint-hearted). Smaller less complex buildings are better for first-time or younger builders. The Thomas Lincoln home and the Berry-Lincoln Store each only require 2 sheets; most of the Main Street buildings take 5 sheets or less of cardstock.
  2. Although not required, you may wish to print out a second copy (plain paper is fine) as a reference guide. Once you start cutting out your cardstock model pieces you may find it helpful to be able to read all of the notes and arrows on a second, uncut, plain-paper copy.
  3. Use sharp scissors or a slim, handled, craft-knife when cutting. A metal straight-edge will assist when you cut.
  4. Although standard white “school” glues will work, some similar “craft” opaque white glues dry more quickly and with less warping. Clear plastic-model glues, rubber cement, or glue sticks don’t work as well.
  5. When gluing, lightly glue the tabs only, not the receiving surface. Be careful not to use too much glue or the paper may warp or pucker.
  6. Let the model dry after gluing each piece before attempting the next. You may find that you want to space construction out over more than one day.
  7. To make the crispest edges, lightly score along the inside of fold lines before folding.
  8. Glue the roof on last.
  9. Enjoy Building Your Own Illinois historic building and check back again for additional buildings.