The northwest intersection of Church and Neil contained an important piece of Champaign’s history. M2 on Neil helped preserve it.
The Kariher Building, which was partially destroyed by fire in 1960, served as the home of McCormick’s Jewelers along with other offices and retailers. The second and third floors were demolished and replaced with one floor of offices and the building was reopened.
The Trevett-Mattis Banking Co. occupied the building at 112 West Church Street beginning in 1910. In 1982, the bank (by then renamed to Bank of Illinois) relocated.
When the M2 project began in 2007, the bank building needed too much work to be usable. However the limestone facade was removed, restored, and put back into place in its original location as a facade on the new M2 on Neil. The removal and restoration of the limestone facade involved the removal, tagging, and storage of hundreds of individual pieces of limestone. Some pieces are nearly three feet thick. The four columns weigh an estimated 12,000 pounds each. When the limestone blocks were reassembled they were held in place with stainless steel anchors, preserving the facade for future generations to appreciate.
Today, the facade frames the windows that make up the front of the restaurant, Miga.
Dodson, Don. “Workers take apart facade in downtown Champaign.” The News-Gazette [Champaign, IL] 17 Jun. 2016: news-gazette.com Web. Accessed 18 January 2017.
Monson, Mike. “Construction starts today on M2 project.” The News-Gazette [Champaign, IL] 1 May 2007: news-gazette.com Web. Accessed 18 January 2017.
Finley, John. “Kariher Building Loss Is $100,000.” Champaign-Urbana Courier 1 Sep. 1960 Cover. Print.