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View Poll Results: The Prairie States' True 2nd City
Aurora 1 3.13%
Elgin 0 0%
Joliet 0 0%
Naperville 0 0%
Peoria 12 37.50%
Rockford 4 12.50%
Springfield 15 46.88%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 04-29-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Springfield, IL
40 posts, read 176,470 times
Reputation: 35
Default Why I voted Springfield

Springfield, the center of state government, and far enough from Chicago and St. Louis to have its own economic and cultural identity.

I think a case could be made for Peoria, if the city itself were actually larger than Springfield or even Rockford if it had a more vibrant city center.
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Unread 04-30-2008, 08:53 AM
 
Location: ABQ
634 posts, read 1,394,689 times
Reputation: 175
Between the historical/tourism aspect and the centralization of state government, I'll go with my hometown of Springfield as Illinois' #2 city. Now if they could just pull in some more industry...
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Unread 04-30-2008, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 5,377,370 times
Reputation: 411
Governments and large research universities can exist in cornfields. 'Second city' commercial complexes need rivers, airports, lit skylines, and outdoor 'lifestyle center' shopping malls. Basically, all those voting for Springfield should be shamed of themselves and rectify their sins by calling up their state reps and insisting that Peoria get a direct freeway link to Chicagoland. If they can't do that, maybe they can move it farther away from Galesburg. But that's my wish list. You can't wish away Peoria.

I view Joliet and Rockford as Chicago satellites, much like Flint or Ann Arbor are Detroit satellites. Not suburbs, but satellites. Grand Rapids is Michigan's second city. Fort Wayne is Indiana's second city. Peoria is Illinois' second city.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Western Chicagoland
18,537 posts, read 47,082,989 times
Reputation: 7219
Quote:
Originally Posted by M TYPE X View Post
Governments and large research universities can exist in cornfields. 'Second city' commercial complexes need rivers, airports, lit skylines, and outdoor 'lifestyle center' shopping malls
I therefore nominate Aurora based on that criteria.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: The rolling fields of Central Illinois
269 posts, read 714,825 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by M TYPE X View Post
Governments and large research universities can exist in cornfields. 'Second city' commercial complexes need rivers, airports, lit skylines, and outdoor 'lifestyle center' shopping malls. Basically, all those voting for Springfield should be shamed of themselves and rectify their sins by calling up their state reps and insisting that Peoria get a direct freeway link to Chicagoland. If they can't do that, maybe they can move it farther away from Galesburg. But that's my wish list. You can't wish away Peoria.

I view Joliet and Rockford as Chicago satellites, much like Flint or Ann Arbor are Detroit satellites. Not suburbs, but satellites. Grand Rapids is Michigan's second city. Fort Wayne is Indiana's second city. Peoria is Illinois' second city.

Great post!

I don't know, Springfield is great, don't get me wrong, but Peoria just feels like a city. Springfield is a unique experience, but lacks certain 'city like' attributes. That is of course not to say that Springfield is a bad place to live, because it is not. I think people make the assumption that because it is larger in population, that it is more 'city like'. But let us not forget, once you get oustide of the actual city limits of Springfield, and where the core population lives, you are left with cornfields and much, much smaller towns. In Peoria though, the only direction that you can travel to find an abundance of open space is to the direct west. If you go south you run into Bartonville. To the north is Dunlap. Across the lake to the east is Tazewell County. There is a fairly dense radius of people around most of Peoria. The city is landlocked, and can't really add more people. As a result, we see the upswing of suburbanization that the city is in right now.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
25,474 posts, read 42,502,918 times
Reputation: 10324
Interesting indeed to see this poll become so polarized between Peoria and Springfield. From a truly demographic perspective, here is how the two compare:

Peoria
Pop. 113,107 (2006)
19.1% of Residents Aged 25+ Hold at Least a Bachelor's Degree
$41,494 Median Household Income


Springfield
Pop. 116,482 (2006)
20.6% of Residents Aged 25+ Hold at Least a Bechelor's Degree
$45,926 Median Household Income

From a mere statistical standpoint, one can easily infer that Springfield is the top contender, having a higher population, higher income, and more well-educated population than its rival of Peoria.


Peoria


Springfield

However, when you look at the skylines of each city Peoria seems to have a more stellar riverfront location whereas Springfield has less vertical impressiveness but a more rigid and orderly grid street system. It's a tough call.
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Unread 05-02-2008, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,889 posts, read 1,610,032 times
Reputation: 1513
Depends on what direction you come in to Springfield. Peoria definitely seems more impressive because of how closely clustered its buildings are and the fact that you drive downhill when entering the downtown. However, both the Hilton and the State Capitol in Spfld are bigger than the Twin Towers in Peoria, so if it's by height that you measure, Spfld wins
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Unread 05-02-2008, 01:56 PM
 
219 posts, read 450,536 times
Reputation: 69
1. Chicago.. Obvious
2. Bloomington-Normal... Insurance, education
3. Peoria.. Cat, but what else?
4. Champaign-Urbana... Education
5. Springfield.... Govt
6. Quad Cities... Deere

Springfield to me, seems like almost a token state capital.. Outside of the Chicago area, B-N has the most vibrant economy and is the bright spot of downstate.
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Unread 05-03-2008, 11:01 AM
 
Location: The rolling fields of Central Illinois
269 posts, read 714,825 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jons99 View Post
1. Chicago.. Obvious
2. Bloomington-Normal... Insurance, education
3. Peoria.. Cat, but what else?
4. Champaign-Urbana... Education
5. Springfield.... Govt
6. Quad Cities... Deere

Springfield to me, seems like almost a token state capital.. Outside of the Chicago area, B-N has the most vibrant economy and is the bright spot of downstate.
"Cat, but what else?"

This is true in the sense that CAT and Peoria are very much one and the same. What one does, greatly influences the other. But such is the case with many of the larger cities down here. You can't look at downstate cities through Chicago eyes, and really appreciate them. Chicago is so big and has thousands of corporations to choose from. That is what makes Chicago one of the greatest cities in the world. But for us, two or three large employers make up a given metro area, and that stabalizes our populations.

However, Peoria is making itself more diversified with each passing year. The medical presence is strong here, and both OSF and Methodist have a HUGE impact in not only Peoria, but B-N as well. Heck, OSF is doing, yet another, multi-million dollar expansion for the third year in a row I believe, and is setting itself up to be one of the biggest hospitals in the state. There are surgeons, doctors, and nurses everywhere down here. There are also loads of much smaller companies to work for, it is just CAT is such an attractive offer that most people stay with it instead of working there way up the ladder in another smaller company. Plus, it isn't as if CAT is central to only Peoria. The out 'burbs of East Peoria, Morton, and Mossville, also have large facilites. Delavan even has one for goodness sake. CAT decided early on to spread the wealth out to the entire metro. OSF and Methodist are now doing the same. If CAT had kept itself to Peoria only, and those other cities around Peoria hadn't prospered because of it, then the city would look like a very different city today. Even far away cities such as Aurora and Rockford have a piece of the CAT machine!

I wouldn't even know where to begin in calculating the numbers to figure out the economic output of Peoria compared to B-N. But then again, is that really fair to group them together? Just look at the Illinois Technology Corridor in the western 'burbs. How can you make group B-N together, and not those in the west burbs that are also interdependent on each other for success. No doubt that a combined "western 'burb mega city" would top Peoria, Springfield, and B-N. If you take just Bloomington, you are left with decent, but not great schools, little university, tons of buisness sectors, an airport, and half the commercial district that they are used to. If you take Normal by itself then you have great schools, big university, but relativly no buisness compared to Bloomington, and again, half the commercial districts. It is the combined forces that make them such a great place to live. Alone they are fairly mediocre. As much as the west 'burbs hate to admit it, their collective "perks" have what made certain cities attractive, while leaving other with much to be desired. Alone they are really nothing special though.

For me, at least when comparing the urban cores like ScranBarre did, google maps just does not do it justice. There is something about driving on west bound I-74 from East Peoria, and looking out and seeing the Riverfront, the downtown, the buildings, the overpasses, the hills, the barges, etc. that just yells, "Welcome to River City!" Maybe I'm out of tune with Springfield, but when I travel down there I just don't get a real message from them. Again, I'm not saying that Springfield is bad, I'm just saying, Peoria feels much more like a city than Springfield does.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 10:54 PM
Status: "Maple tree is leafing out!" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
65,671 posts, read 51,998,787 times
Reputation: 17989
I say Peoria. I love the river there. And really, it's more of a real city with a real economy than B-N, C-U and/or Springfield. The quad cities might be a contender, but my heart says Peoria.
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