The Way We Were: Lincoln Square

The Way We Were: Lincoln Square

With a historic hotel anchoring one side and a fancy new department store on the other, Lincoln Square had a bright and shiny start in 1964.

The department store, Carson's, changed names a couple of times and just went out of business as Bergner's at Market Place Mall. For years, there have been weddings, weekly bingo games and patriotic events at Lincoln Square.

A memorable Central High School junior-senior prom in 2002 featured the theme "An Evening in Paris." Couples danced in front of a 20-foot model of the Eiffel Tower and a wall hanging of Vincent Van Gogh's "An Evening in Arles." Barina Burwell, now Barina Bryant and living in Florida, enjoyed the prom and the tower, though shesaid that she rarely crossed over Wright Street to the enclosed mall.

Central juniors Tony Bruno and Chris Roney welded the tower replica with material donated by Kurland Steel, recalled Bruno, now an Urbana attorney.

"It took us a couple weeks maybe, after school in Central's shop class, working with a teacher named Barry Mink," he said.

Bruno had a thing for steel and sold his art creations every week at the still-thriving Urbana's Market at the Square in the south parking lot.

"The farmers' market taught me a lot of life lessons, when you're a 16-year-old getting up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning," he said.

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):People, Retail