North First Street


Come explore the history of North First Street, Champaign's original downtown with a rich, complex history and a bright future. 

Help us grow this exhibit! We welcome and encourage the contribution of digitized texts, images, audio recordings, movies and more. To contribute material please click Contribute or e-mail the moderator Noah Lenstra at to schedule a visit to help you get your collections and memories online. 


Noah Lenstra


Pt. 1 - Historical Overview of North First Street

Early history of North First Street, with an emphasis on African-American migration to the area and the establishment of African-American residences and businesses in the region.

Pt. 2 - N 1st St in Memories and Online

Showcases quotes from various individuals with memories of North First Street.