273 COLLEGE STREET
In the December 1892 annual report on homes built in the past year, Burger & Bean building company is listed as erecting a home for Charles Sorn for $1,700. Elgin changed their address convention system four times before 1894, which affected the addresses for this property. After the address convention systems settled on 273 College Street, Sorn lived there until his passing in 1931.
Sorn had a number of occupations throughout the years, with the 1890-91 City Directory listing him as a bookkeeper, the 1892 City Directory listing him as a shoemaker, and the 1900 City Directory listing him as retired and living with his wife Elizabeth. In the 1896-97 Elgin City Directory, aside from owning his property at 273 College, it is also noted as the owner of 135 and ½ acres of land in St. Charles.
273 College is an example of the Free Classic Queen Anne style. Advances in industrialization made it easier to construct homes made with a variety of materials in a variety of ornamental features. Some of the style’s features seen in this home include: the cross-gabled roof lines with a front-gable on the façade; decorative shingles in the gables; asymmetry; bay windows; and the partial-width porch.
Sources: 2001 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud