Carpenter Street Underpass – Archeology Site Documents


Last week, the House Museums, Arts, & Cultural Enhancement Committee  had a subject matter hearing on the topic of the Carpenter Street Underpass-Archeology Site.

The Carpenter Street Underpass is part of the Springfield Rail Improvements Projects. It will relocate all passenger and freight traffic from the Third Street corridor to Tenth Street.

The archeology dig from late September – October 2014, discovered seven foundations of homes at a block once considered as the Gateway to the “Badlands”. Five of the homes found in the Badlands footprint were burned down as a result of the 1908 Race Riots.

According to a January 5, 2015 State Journal Register article, this site was covered up with dirt after the Race Riots and a lumberyard existed over the property. St. John’s Hospital eventually bought the property and it became a parking lot. The property remained covered for nearly 100 years until unearthed during the archeological study connected with the Carpenter Street Underpass project.

Many participants who attended the March 10 Federal Railroad Administration public hearing led by Hanson Engineering were discouraged from making public comments. Some participants were not able to submit comments on the computer tablets provided at the meeting due to poor internet connection in the basement of the Prairie Capitol Convention Center.

Documents submitted to the House committee were the result of a FOIA request by the Faith Coalition For A Common Good to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

As documents become available through freedom of information requests, they will be added to this webpage.  These documents are in date order.


Cultural and Historical Resources Study for the Proposed Carpenter Street Underpass, Railroad Improvement Project (January 2014)


The study was to ‘identify historic properties potentially eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places” in the Carpenter Street Underpass project area.

The research notes which blocks have a high potential for uncovering archeological finds from the 1908 Race Riots utilizing historical maps and newspaper reports.  A historical context and results of the research investigations are provided in great detail.

The nearly 100 page study is broken up in 4 separate parts due to data size.  Each part is approximately 4 M.B. – 7 M.B. to download easily.

February 21, 2014 – Letter from Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to Fever River Research in response to ‘Cultural and Historical Resources Study –  IPHA Log #001022114.  IHPA Letter – February 2014 

April 4, 2014:  Letter from Andrea Martin at the Federal Rail Administration to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to enter into a memorandum of agreement to facilitate compliance with Section 106.

Enclosures to the letter include:

  • Memorandum of Agreement among the FRA, the Illinois Historic Preservation Officer, the City of Springfield, regarding compliance to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. (6 pages) Memorandum of Agreement
  • Plan and Schedule for Phase II Archeological Investigations for the Carpenter Street Underpass (March 2014) (13 pages)  Archeology Plan and Schedule – Phase I results
  • Phase III Data Recovery Plan for National Register Eligible Archeological Sites for the Carpenter Street Underpass Project Area (11 pages) Phase III proposal

November 21, 2014:  Letter to Illinois Historic Preservation Agency from Fever River Research regarding Phase II Executive Summary and proposed new right of way for the electrical utility corridor for St. John’s Hospital.  10 Historical maps and current maps submitted.  Phase II Executive Summary – October 2014