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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Town of West Belleville Historic District
Reference Number 14000111
State Illinois
County St. Clair
Town Belleville
Street Address multiple
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 4/7/2013
Link to full file
The Town of West Belleville Historic District, located just west of the original settlement of Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois is eligible for National Register listing and is locally significant under Criterion A in the area of ETHINC HERITAGE-EUROPEAN-German and Criterion C in the area of ARCHITECTURE. Originally platted as the Town of West Belleville in 1833 and with nine subsequent major additions flanking the original town between 1835 and 1867, the district developed first as a picturesque village settled by German immigrants and then evolved into a bustling town made wealthy by the coal and brewery industries. Massive waves of German immigration coinciding first with the European Revolutions of 1830 and then a second wave of immigration in the early 1850s greatly influenced the local architecture, politics, and business enterprises. A final subdivision in 1902 completed the nominated district and included the last historic construction. The period of significance begins with the earliest recorded structure built circa 1826 and extends to 1936, the last date of building construction within the district's final historic subdivision. Included within the district boundaries lies a well-preserved concentration of vernacular housing types and most importantly at least 305 excellent examples of the "German Street House" type made popular in Belleville, in addition to the more common vernacular forms that document important architectural trends and interpretations of major national styles. Contributing buildings in the district are related through the use of materials and quality of construction, scale, setback and architectural style. Although no known documents identify building architects and builders, it is almost certain that the craftsmanship of local master builders was called upon, especially German craftsmen. District buildings reflect such national styles as the Late Victorian, the Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals and the Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements in architecture; vernacular forms (heavily influenced by German ideals) account for the majority of the designs. German heritage and German architectural expression are intrinsically tied to each other within this district.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria