The bustling business district known today simply as "Green Street" began life as an simple street of elegant private residences. One-by-one the homes were leveled and their properties joined to the ever-expanding campus corporate zone.  By 1908 alumni compared the up-and-coming area to the Nevada frontier: 
The building up of houses in the immediate vicinity of the University has brought with it much that is to be deplored. Although some permanent and sightly [sic] structures have been erected, a great many more shacks, cheap and ugly structures of a very temporary sort, have found places, reproducing in miniature the effect of a Nevada border town [complete with] gaudy cloth signs, and unnecessarily large and hideous bill-boards
In prose which seems almost prophetic today, those same alumni lamented that "present tendencies indicate that Green street west from the campus for two blocks at least is done for as a residence street [and] Mathews avenue to the north of Green street is in the same condition". 
In early 2000, the City of Champaign undertook a project called Campustown 2000 in an effort to beautify the sometimes-grubby Green Street and its surrounding areas. The project was headed up by Daily & Associates Engineers, the Hitchcock Design Group, Burtness Engineering Services, Clark Dietz, and Feutz contractors. The results of their efforts were dedicated in 2002.