What’s that giant phallic thing in the middle of the road, causing traffic to swerve every which way? Excellent question. Most locals have no idea. Turns out it’s a monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of Illinois’ statehood, built in 1918 by a gent named Henry Bacon – the same architect who created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
The eagle atop the Doric column echoes that on the Illinois state flag. The reliefs of Native Americans, explorers, farmers and laborers represent the great changes the state experienced during its first century.