117 TENNYSON COURT
117 Tennyson Court was built in the 1850's for Edmund and Lucy Gifford along with their nine children. Edmund was an attorney that brought the first law library to Elgin and was the first superintendent of the public school system in Elgin. After the Civil War, the Gifford's sold the house to Sylvester S. Mann who was a cattle breeder and member of the State Legislature. Mann's daughter, Nellie, married a dentist, Dr. Ora Chappell, and they eventually became the new owners. The house originally faced Division Street before the lot was subdivided in the early 1900s. Houses were then built around the home removing its access to Division Street. In 1981, the home underwent an extensive renovation.
This Second Empire style residence was originally a two story single family home until the late 1800s when the third floor ballroom was added as a mansard roof with decorative arched top dormer windows. The mansard roof has several patterns of shingles with a painted cornice supported by decorative brackets. There are many articulations in the brick including dentils and thin bands of red bricks that help break up the massive facade. In addition, the windows are tall and narrow with limestone lintels and sills.
Sources: Gifford Park Association; Audio: TextAloud