214 Academy Place was built in 1907 for retired farmer, John and Amy Penney. John was born in Scotland in 1850 and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. Amy was born in Illinois in 1857 in Kane County. John and Amy had one daughter, Laura, who was born in 1883 and a son, John Herbert, who was born in 1884. John, Senior passed away in November of 1917 and is buried at Bluff City Cemetery. Amy remained in the home until 1921 when she sold it to Nathaniel Sears who donated the home to the Elgin Academy Board in February of 1921.


214 Academy Place is a great example of the gambrel roof sub-type of the Shingle style. This sub-type makes up about 25 percent of Shingle style homes. A full second story is hidden within this steeply pitched roof configuration giving the home a one-story appearance. Hipped dormers are found at each side of the home as well as a full width porch found at its front elevation. Another typical characteristic of the Shingle style is the multi-pane top sash over a single pane bottom sash windows found throughout the home.



Sources: 1987 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud