Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Tom Weisner

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Aurora, an Architectural Portrait

Aurora, An Architectural Portrait Brochure Cover

The historic architecture in Aurora not only beautifies our city, it connects us to the past and provides a unique sense of place that unites us as members of the same community. This can not be achieved in any other media, nor replaced once it is lost.


Welcome to the Aurora area. We hope that these tours will offer you the opportunity to discover the diverse historical architecture in Aurora. The information for the tours was provided by the Aurora Preservation Commission. The Commission was established by the Aurora City Council in 1979 to preserve properties that reflect Aurora’s historical, cultural, artistic, social, and ethnic heritage. Other services offered by the Commission for owners of Aurora’s historic properties include design review, technical assistance, professional preservation staff, architectural expertise, and rehabilitation resources. For additional information, call (630) 256-INFO (4636) or visit the Historic Preservation page.

PHOTO CREDIT: All photography courtesy of John Bonk, Photographer, Studio Avalon, 2055 Albright Road, Montgomery, IL 60538, (630) 892-2636,

Unless specifically stated as open to the public, the homes included in this guide are private residences. Please protect the privacy of the owners.

As you read the guide, please note the following symbols for designated properties:

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places - Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Aurora Designated Historic District or Landmark - Aurora Designated Historic District or Landmark

Table of Contents

  1. A Self-Guided Tour (driving overview)
  2. Near Eastside Historic District
  3. Stolp Island Historic District
  4. Westside National Register Historic District
  5. Near Northwest Neighborhood
  6. Tanner Historic District
  7. Riddle Highlands Historic District
  8. Palace Street Historic District
  9. Downer Place West
  10. LaSalle Street Auto Row Historic District
  11. Preserving the Recent Past

Special Interests

  1. Historic Churches
  2. Bridges in Aurora
  3. Commemorative Street Designations
  4. Additional Local Landmarks In Aurora
  5. George Grant Elmslie Architectural Tour
  6. Architect Eugene Malmer
  7. Architect J.E. Minott
  8. Architects Worst and Shepardson
  9. Architect Herbert Spieler

For further reading, the following brochures are available at the David L Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer Place: Aurora Illustrated 1890, Aurora in the Gay 90s, From Slavery to Glory - African Americans Come to Aurora, 1850-1920, and Aurora in the Beginning.