2. A Spatial Story > John Deere & Prairie Restoration

I'll begin with an example, one that is relevant to the story and one that, taken on its own, demonstrates the unique character of a spatial story....

Driving east on I-74, just beyond the city limits of Urbana, drivers speedily pass beneath 1700E. There is nothing exceptional about this road. Nothing to suggest that it is any different than the rest of the small country roads - encountered at intervals so regular they eliminate the need for an odometer.

But 1700E is unique. Slowing down and looking to the north, one might glimpse Trelease Prairie, a twenty acre restored tallgrass prairie, maintained by the University of Illinois since 1942. Looking to the south, one sees Arends Brothers Incorporated, a third-generation John Deere dealership that has been selling agricultural equipment since 1932.

This pairing can be read as an ironic and amusing compression of nearly 200 years of history - of cause and effect redoubled - into a stretch of road less than a mile in length. The interstate bisects this road, keeping at bay two histories that are, in fact, deeply intertwined.