PEORIA MAGAZINE March 2023
THE DEMETRIOU PLAN Today’s history lesson: Once upon a time, Peoria found the ‘recipe for getting things done’ to ‘get the city standing tall’
BY MIKE BAILEY ILLUSTRATED BY SCOTT SHEPLER
O f all the redevelopment blueprints commissioned by the City of Peoria over the last half century, one stands alone as arguably the most ambitious and, in retrospect, the most successfully implemented of them all. Downtown Peoria looks the way it does today, its big-city feel unique throughout all of downstate Illinois, because of the Demetriou Plan.
The Civic Center was its most notable off spring, but there were other defining projects for which the not ed architect Angelos Demetriou planted the conceptual seeds: the Twin Towers, Fulton
Plaza, the city’s RiverFront, the reno vation of the Hotel Pere Marquette, the museum block and the late, great River Station, the “destination restaurant” that put Peoria on the culinary map in a way it hadn’t been before. It changed everything, said retired state legislator David Leitch. Had Demetriou never entered Peoria’s orbit, Downtown today might well be “dead as a doornail,” he said. “There’d be no reason to go there.” That’s where Downtown was heading in 1973.
34 MARCH 2023 PEORIA MAGAZINE
Made with FlippingBook Digital Proposal Maker