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Songs and Stories
     June 3, 2019      #11-154 SsK

Kankakee's 'Main Street' that disappeared

La calle de Kankakee

By Jack Klasey

While many communities named their major thoroughfare "Main Street," Kankakee's original commercial center carried the more prosaic title of East Avenue. From the mid-1850s to the early 1900s, the east side of the two blocks between Court and Station streets was lined with the town's most important stores, hotels and offices.

In the late 1960s, those two blocks were cleared of structures and became parking lots as part of a downtown redevelopment project. Today, the northern half of the site is occupied by the Miner Festival Square and fountain in front of the Kankakee train depot. A short stretch of East Avenue pavement ...

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Jack Klasey
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