North from Fountain Square
known as Mill Street, Douglas Avenue is Elginís oldest thoroughfares. Founder
James T. Gifford renamed the street in honor of Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
of Douglas Avenue that were set aside for business became known as "Lower
Douglas Ave", obviously because of its proximity to the river, while the
residential portions were known as "Upper Douglas". By the late
1880ís The Weekly Advocate would refer to Douglas Avenue as "Elgin's
fashionable avenue". It would receive additional plaudits when it became
known as "the Gold Coast".
Elginís prominent citizens lived on Douglas Avenue, including Leopold Adler, a
physician and a dentist and father of Max Adler who founded the Adler
Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in 1930. Other prominent citizens included,
Henry Lee Borden, superintendent of the condensed milk factory and president of
the Home National Bank, Mayor William Grote, who brought a number of industries
to Elgin, and William P. Topping, production superintendent of the D.C. Cook