PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The man behind some of the Peoria area’s most notable developments, has died.
G. Raymond Becker, also known as Ray Becker, passed away this week. He was in his 80s.
Becker is known for the Twin Towers, the Becker Building, Landmark Recreation Center, and the original Illinois Central College campus. According to Peoria Magazine, his first downtown Peoria project was the Sears building, back in 1962, which is now where the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center sit.
Under his business, The Becker Companies, where he was president and CEO, he oversaw the construction of the Continental Regency Hotel, now known as Four Points by Sheraton, as well.
Prior to these projects, he worked with his brother constructing houses throughout the area in the late 1940s and 50s, known then as Becker Brothers Construction. He also worked on student housing for Bradley University, per Peoria Magazine.
“Ray was a great leader,” Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said. “He literally changed the face of downtown Peoria with the Twin Towers & Becker Buildings. Built a lot of offices, homes, dorms at Bradley, etc. Big philanthropist. You don’t replace guys like Ray Becker.”
Outside of development, Becker was a longtime co-chair of the Easterseals Telethon too. He graduated from Woodruff High School in 1949.