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Steeple Building

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1854. 208 Bishop Hill Rd.
  • (Photograph by Jean Follett)
  • Rear elevation (Photograph by Jean Follett)

Built in 1854, the Steeple Building was one of the grandest of the early Bishop Hill structures. Although built as a hotel, it served many functions over the years, including a school, bank, apartments, and an administration building. With three stories and a hipped roof surmounted by a cupola, the building anchors a corner facing the western end of the town square. Its brick structure is parged with creamy yellow stucco. A rusticated base and a deep entablature unify the building. The symmetrical facades facing the two cross streets are surmounted by pediments set into the entablature. On the north elevation a recessed entrance at the first floor and a long recessed balcony on the second floor face the square. The southern pediment is supported by shallow pilasters and ornamented with a wrought-iron balcony above the building’s side entrances. These side doors lead into a transverse hall that connects to the front vestibule and staircase. Inside, traditional spatter painting provides simple ornamentation. The upper floors are reached by a split staircase. The Steeple Building is currently occupied by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, which maintains the building as a museum.


Nelson, Ronald E., “Bishop Hill Colony,” Henry County, Illinois. National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form, 1969. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.


Writing Credits

Jean A. Follett
Jean A. Follett
Elizabeth A. Milnarik
James E. Peters



  • 1854

    Steeple Building

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Jean A. Follett, "Steeple Building", [Bishop Hill, Illinois], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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