The King's palaces: Tour world-class architect's Belleville projects

News-DemocratMay 1, 2013 

Architect Charles Erwin King, named one of the top 100 architects in the country in 1991, left his mark on Belleville -- in a big way.

King, who practiced in Belleville from 1949 to 1961, designed and completed 34 public and commercial projects and an estimated 100 custom designed residences and home additions during that time.

The Belleville Historical Society is sponsoring two events this month to recognize King's accomplishments.

A reception to open a retrospective exhibit of King's work is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Governor French Academy Art Gallery, 219 West Main St. in Belleville. Refreshments will be served.

"We have contemporary and period photos of the homes and buildings, he designed in Belleville," said Larry Betz, president of the Belleville Historical Society. "We even have his drafting table set up with his original drawing of City Hall spread out on the table, and some of his furniture.

"People see his work all the time but don't realize it. He designed City Hall and homes all over town. Everybody has seen the Kloess residence (1015 McClinton Ave.). It's really different. It stands out."

Betz said King's son, James King, will be coming in from Colorado for the opening. The exhibit will remain at Governor French throuh May.

The Historical Society also is planning a tour of seven local residences designed by Charles King for 1 to 5 p.m. May 11.

Tickets for the tour are $15 those 12 and older; free for those younger than 12. Tickets will be available at the opening reception for the exhibit on May 3 at Governor French.

Tickets also are available in Belleville at Fletcher's Kitchen & Tap, 6101 West Main; Dill's Floral Haven, 258 Lebanon Ave.; My Vintage Addiction, 119 East Main; and Eckert's Market, Illinois 15 and Green Mount Road. They can be purchased on the day of the tour at any houses on the tour.

The residences on the tour are:

* Mr. and Mrs. George Kloess Residence, 1015 McClintock Ave. it was built in 1949 and is currently owned by Scott and Carol Hathaway.

* William and Minette Farthing Residence, 8221 West Main St. It was built in 1950 and is currently owned by Betty Jones.

* Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Rogers Residence, 600 S. Missouri Ave. It was built in 1951 and is currently owned by Robert and Robin Howard.

* Irma Hempel Residence, 17 Woodland Court. Built in 1951, its current owners are Tom and Sandra Peters.

* Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Lippert Residence, 21 High Forest Drive. It was built in 1957 and is currently owned by William and Beth Kamm.

* Frank and Dorothy Skinner Residence, 25 High Forest Drive. Built in 1958, its current owners are Andy and Kathy Bridgeman.

* Dr. and Mrs. Richard Osland Residence, 2 Kil-Mar Woods. It was built in 1962 and is currently owned by Reed and Nancy Hannebaum.

For more information and a map to find the seven Charles King homes, call 618-531-7753 or visit

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