W.C.U. Building / Architechnics | 510 Maine St. Quincy. IL
The Western Catholic Union Building is Quincy’s first and only skyscraper. Built in 1925 The 10-story building at 506 Maine was designed by architect George Behrensmeyer . The Beaux-Arts Style structure is 10 stories high and is the only high-rise Beaux Arts building in Quincy.
When the building opened in fall of 1925 it included a swimming pool in the basement and a roof garden bar and dance floor. The first floor had a large retail area, there were eight floors of offices and the 10th floor had an auditorium and banquet facilities. The basement also had a bowling alley, a small gym and a room for a café.
The summer after it opened there was dancing on the roof garden. It’s unclear when the last party was held on the roof of the Western Catholic Building in downtown Quincy, though the feasibility of that anymore is unlikely with the various communications equipment on its roof.
The building was home to W.T. Grant Co., and later Woolworth operated a store in the building from 1958 through 1982.
During the grand opening, more than 76,000 people visited the building. Because safety railings were not yet installed, two police officers and firemen were stationed on the roof to keep people from the temporary rope guard.
Today the building is home to a number of offices, including Architechnics which occupies the top floor.
Quincy’s history of Architectural design is comprised of two major architectural firms. The firm of George Behrensmeyer (currently Architechnics) and the firm of Charles Behrensmeyer. The firm of George Behrensmeyer is now Architechnics. The firm of Charles Behrensmeyer later became the firm of Meyer and Peter, Architects (including the prominent Architect, Frank Horn).
In 1989, Architechnics was given the drawing collection of Martin Geise and Donald Hafner (Donald was a nephew of Wilbert Hafner.) Donald practiced as an independent Architect from early to mid 1900’s. Martin Geise practiced as an independent Architect from the late 1800’s to early 1940’s.
In 1998, Architechnics purchased the drawing collection of Meyer and Peter, Architects.
These drawing collections, in addition to the history of Architechnics, comprise an estimated 85-90% of the prominent buildings and residences built in Quincy.