"The Town That TIme Forget"
The survival in Downtown Galena of a commercial district that appears much as it did prior to the Civil War, has been largely a result of good and bad fortune. In the absence of the everyday market forces which removed very largely altered the original structures of Galena's sister cities, there was no economic pressure in Galena to change the downtown; neither was there sufficient economic incentive to keep the area in good repair."
One popular description of Galena as "the town that time forgot," partially explains the retention of Galena's historic environment. The old shuttered, brick and limestone buildings which exemplify Galena's character were built at a time when the city was the lead mining capital of the world, the major commercial port on the upper Mississippi, and the wealthiest city in the State of Illinois. At the peak, Galenians boasted of a population of over 14,000, and they built homes, institutions, and commercial buildings that were sturdy, handsome, and meant to last."
- Preservation of Downtown Galena
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