Sanborn Maps were highly detailed studies of towns, villages and cities across the United States. They were initially created to estimate fire insurance risks. They contain an enormous amount of information, a virtual historical snapshot.
Location of the Sanborn Maps
The Carbondale Sanborn Maps are held in the Geospatial Library at Southern Illinois University in their original 21 by 25 inch bound sheets of paper. The maps were updated in 1946 from a prior 1929 survey.
Details of the Maps
You can carefully view the streets, parks, buildings, schools and businesses of downtown Carbondale and the nearby neighborhoods. You can see how prominent the Illinois Central Railroad was to the town and the massive amount of track in the center of the City. The historic Sanborn Maps are a guide to the city and its long standing institutions.
The downtown façade improvement loan program was established in August 1990 and has been amended to meet the changing needs of downtown property owners. Structures eligible for the program must be located within the loan program area shown below. View our Planning Services page for more information about the Downtown Facade Program.
These maps and aerial photos were a valuable resource in the development of Carbondale.