12 N. UNION STREET
The 1920s was the time of a huge building boom in Elgin and across the nation. Nothing like it had been since the late 1880s/early 1890s. The end of World War I signaled the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of a new day. In September of 1922, Charles Warner made an agreement with Pear Pearson for construction of a house on lot 5, block 1 of Wilcox Park Addition; its address became 12 N. Union Street.
Charles was a widower when he had the house built in 1922. He was an immigrant from Copenhagen, Denmark and worked for the Brethren Publishing Company on S. State Street. In 1938, Warner had the house put into both his and his son Kai's name. In 1943, they sold the home. Owners over the years were people who stayed for long periods of time, one owner kept the house for 29 years! Charles Warner passed away in 1946.
12 N. Union Street is distinguished from other houses built in that era by its size. It is quite small and served an important purpose: its size made it affordable for a couple or a single person. The home is considered of the Craftsman or Prairie style as much of its elements such as the front gabled enclosed porch that projects out from the hipped roof, the centered door balanced on either side by windows and a small window in the center gable roof peak, and the wide enclosed eave overhangs, reflect the style. In addition, most windows found on the home are three vertical panes over one pane and the siding is narrow clapboard. All together, a stunning sight that gives the cottage a lot of character.
Sources: 2003 Heritage Plaque Nomination; Audio: TextAloud