The 1907 Woodworth Hotel
embodied hopes that the Crawford County community of Robinson would
continue to grow and become increasingly cosmopolitan. When
completed, the Woodworth boasted the kinds of amenities found in
big-city hotels -- barber shop, billiard room, reading and writing
room, parlor, bowling alley, and "sample rooms," where traveling
salesmen exhibited their wares for sale. First lady Eleanor
Roosevelt stayed at the hotel in 1939, as one of scores of visitors
who kept the Woodworth thriving for decades.
However, the shift
from railroad to automobile transportation took its toll on the
downtown hotel, and devastating fires in 1971 and 1979 sealed its
fate. The fire-gutted shell of the Woodworth Hotel was razed in May
The article was written by Keith A. Sculle, head of Research and
Education for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
* * *
The geodesic dome, invented and patented by R. Buckminster Fuller
in 1951, is considered by many engineers and architects to be one of
the most innovative designs of the 20th century. More than 200,000
geodesic domes have been built around the world, including the
Carbondale dome that Fuller called home.
[to top of second column]
After a lively and eclectic early career, Fuller reached the
conclusion that all the world's needs could be met through
comprehensive design science, and he focused on meeting the needs of
an expanding world population. He invented, among other things, the
prefabricated aluminum Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, in the 1920s; the
futuristic, fuel-efficient, three-wheeled Dymaxion Car, 1933; and
the geodesic dome, first used at the Ford Motor Company headquarters
in Dearborn, Mich., in 1952. His most famous dome was the
200-foot-tall structure that housed the U.S. Pavilion at the 1967
Montreal World's Fair.
Fuller was named a research professor at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale in 1959, despite the fact that he had no
college degree; he had been expelled from Harvard University twice
in the early 1900s.
The article was written by William Gatlin, preservation services
intern with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Historic Illinois is a bimonthly publication that features
historically significant sites in Illinois. Subscriptions are $10
per year, which includes six issues of Historic Illinois and a
full-color calendar. For more information, call (217) 524-6045,
visit www.Illinois-History.gov or write to Historic Illinois, Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza,
Springfield, IL 62701-1507.
Historic Preservation Agency news release]