the time of its construction in 1912 the Schnepp
Building or “Block,” as it was then referred to, was the
largest building of its kind ever built in Springfield.
Developed by Springfield realtor and mayor, John S.
Schnepp, it consisted of 12 individual storefronts
joined together and veneered with a front covering of
brick and limestone, giving the appearance of a single
building. This transition period marked the change from
the earlier single, double or even triple storefronts
and later single, large open store buildings to follow.
The later buildings, built after 1920, had single, open,
expansive interior spaces we recognize today, with only
one or two entrances rather than a row of doors into
individual storefronts like the Schnepp Block.
Schnepp Block, while appearing to be one building,
reveals its division into individual units on the first
floor. Each storefront has an arrangement of entrance
doors at its east and west sides with a display window
centered between. At the second and third levels a row
of double windows have arched heads crowned with large,
arched limestone caps. Bands of limestone join the
windows in a horizontal pattern and contrast strongly
with the dark brownish, rough-faced brick. All these
elements contribute to a “modern” horizontal design
emphasis. Several dozen businesses—restaurants,
appliance stores, electrical shops, hardware stores and
others—occupied the Schnepp Block storefronts through