Batavia, Illinois: City of Windmills

The city was once home to six windmill factories. Many of the old windmills now stand, restored and creaking in the breeze, along the Batavia Riverwalk.

Address:
100 N. Island Ave., Batavia, IL
Directions:
Downtown, on the west bank of the river on N. Island Ave. just north of Houston St. From the corner of Hwy 31/Batavia Ave. and Wilson St., drive north one block and turn right (east) onto Houston St. Drive east a quarter-mile to the intersection of Houston St. and Island Ave., then turn left.
Phone:
630-454-2000
Admission:
Free
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Windmills.

City of Windmills

Batavia was once the Center of the Universe when it came to high-tech windmills; the town once hosted six different windmill factories. The last one closed in 1951 and the city moved on to other forms of energy (Such as smashing atoms together at nearby Fermilab). The windmills were mostly forgotten.

In the mid-1990s the town fessed up to its windy past, and soon windmills (manufactured in Batavia) were refurbished and started to pop up all over the city like weeds on an Illinois farm. The highest concentration of restored windmills can be found on the Batavia Riverwalk near the Government Center (which itself is a re-purposed windmill factory building).

The best way to find all the windmills is to pick up the book "Windmill City: A Guide to the Historic Windmills of Batavia, Illinois," $5.00 if ordered by mail, but free if you pick it up in the Batavia area.

[John Takao Collier, 11/15/2014]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Man With A Fish HeadMan With A Fish Head, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
Mary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium BedMary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium Bed, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
Self-Made ManSelf-Made Man, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Donley's Wild West Town, Union, IL - 27 mi.

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