Present Day Amenities Princeton Offers

The City of Princeton offers up-to-date conveniences while rooted in old-time, small town charm. It features a vibrant, traditional Main Street lined with buildings from the 19th century housing many unique shops. In fact, Princeton is known for "two downtowns". As the Bureau County seat, the southerly downtown on Main Street grew near the heart of the new government in the early 1840's. Buildings of daily commerce started reaching north, along with a stretch of victorian homes and four-squares. When the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad was built in the later 1840's at the north end of Main Street, buildings sprouted there as well. Today, these buildings stand in different stages of restoration, but still offer unique and boutique shopping and dining to satisfy anyone. The North and South business districts were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018!

Daily rail transportation offers easy travel to the heart of Chicago, or to 65 cities between Princeton and San Francisco or Los Angeles. It all begins at our original Prairie Style, 1911 Depot. For those who love to drive, Princeton sits on Exit 56 along Interstate 80, the most traveled coast-to-coast highway in America. Don't forget that Princeton is only 9 miles from the big and wide Illinois River. Boaters and fishers alike have something to love about a day on the river. Or, many choose to stay closer to home by playing or relaxing in any of the lovely parks in the 200 acres of parkland managed by the Princeton Park District. Take in live theater during the 10-week long Festival 56, home to the largest live theater productions in Illinois. You know there is something big happening when Main Street gets blocked off in the summertime during one of six live music concerts and street dances, from rock n' roll to Bavarian Polka. Take in brass and woodwinds with the incredibly talented Princeton Community Band. We have choruses. We even have Barbershoppers every Tuesday evening. We invite you to an experience, not just a visit.

You may also continue to learn more about Princeton, and what it has to offer by visiting Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce & Main Street.

Amtrak Station

Princeton's Amtrak Train Depot, located at 105 Bicentennial Drive, offers residents access to both regional and national daily rail service. The depot was built in 1911 and retains its historic character. The lobby is open from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week; and staffed by an attendant for all Amtrak trains. The depot is leased from BNSF and maintained by the City.

Learn More About Our Amtrak Depot & Rail Service!


Lovejoy Home

Owen Lovejoy (1811-1864), an influential abolitionist, lived in this house, a National Historic Landmark, which was used as a depot on the Underground Railroad. The home has been thoroughly restored and is available for tours (Fri-Sun) from May through September. The property also features a log cabin and a one room schoolhouse.

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Princeton Public Library

Princeton Public Library has been in its current location at 698 E Peru Street since 2007. The 27,000 square foot building contains over 60,000 books. The library also provides audio books, e-books, research databases, microfilm, CDs, DVDs, archived local resources, and an on-site café. The library hosts a variety of educational adult programs on a weekly basis.

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City/County Park

City/County Park is located on Princeton's far north side, within City limits. The 61 Acre park is jointly owned and maintained by the City of Princeton, Bureau County, and the Princeton Park District. The park offers several amenities including picnic areas, shelters, playground, horseshoes, trails, volleyball, and baseball. The park's location, on the bluff above Big Bureau Creek, and its old growth oaks make it a scenic and serene recreation area.

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Historic Downtown

Princeton features two distinct historic downtowns built up on Main Street around the Bureau County Courthouse on the south end and near the railroad on the north end. Both of these districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture of the buildings tends to be more ornate on the south side; with some buildings including terra cotta elements. Both districts offer a variety of salons, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and other services.


OSF St. Claire Hospital

OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.
OSF HealthCare has 16 hospitals - 10 acute care, five critical access, one transitional care - with 2,134 licensed beds throughout Illinois and Michigan. OSF Home Care Services, an extensive network of home health and hospice services; owns Pointcore, Inc., comprised of health care-related businesses; OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm for the organization; and OSF Ventures, which provides investment capital for promising health care innovation startups.
In 2020, OSF OnCall was established, a digital health operating unit, including a hospital-at-home. OSF OnCall delivers care and services when, where and how patients prefer to receive them. OSF HealthCare has been recognized by Fortune as one of the most innovative companies in the country.
The largest hospital, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, is a tertiary care teaching center providing numerous specialty services and extensive residency programs for physicians.
The Ministry Services office in Peoria, Illinois, provides corporate management services as well as direction, consultation and assistance to the administration of the health care facilities. 

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