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Witmer-Schuck Building

Witmer-Schuck Building

630 East Washington Street
Springfield, IL

The Witmer/Schuck Building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Washington streets, was built by Daniel Witmer in 1867.  Witmer, a successful manufacturer of doors and window sash, rented his building to various tenants, including a third floor meeting room or “hall.”  This was let to the numerous fraternal, cultural, and civic groups for their monthly or special meetings and dances. Witmer sold the building in the 1870s. 

An important business organization, The Springfield Board of Trade, occupied the building by 1880.  The Board of Trade promoted industrial growth in Springfield and “was directly responsible for the establishment of such firms as the Springfield Watch Company, Alexander Corn Products factory and the Springfield Woolen Mills,” all important Springfield employers.  Although lasting only a few years, the Board of Trade set the model for later economic development associations. The Board had a telegraph to receive up-to-date market information, set up samples of commodities and goods for sale, bringing buyers and sellers together and acted as arbitrator in business differences.  The building was also home to Springfield city officers from 1889 until our first City Hall was built in 1894. Among the longest term tenants were druggists William Schulze and the Baumann Brothers, the latter a “great mecca for the German residents of the city, as it not only specialized in many of the old-time German remedies, but carried many herbs which no other Springfield drug store stocked.” (Illinois State Register June 12, 1940).

The Witmer-Schuck Building is a typical representative of 19th century commercial structures with its Italianate design and characteristic segmentally-arched window heads. It also has the typical arrangement of commercial first floor with offices and public hall spaces above.  It is significant in having housed several important organizations in Springfield’s commercial, social and civic past.