327 W. CHICAGO STREET
327 W. Chicago Street was designed by notable Elgin architect W. Wright Abell, built by the Hayward Brothers, for the owners John and Louise Wilcox in 1891. John was a native of Elgin and worked at the Elgin National Watch Company for a time, until beginning a partnership with his father in the coal business. The firm's name was S. Wilcox & Son. Unfortunately, John died quite young at the age of 33 years old from a long term illness. He left his wife, Louise, and four children.
Louise stayed in the home with her four children until 1931, when she transferred the property to her daughter, Ruth. Ruth remained in the family home until she sold the property to William and Hattie Tope in 1938.
327 W. Chicago Street is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style. The characteristics of this style can be seen in its prominent, curved exterior wall at the corner of the home; its fish scale cedar shingles that wrap around the house on its second story; its ornate, carved panel located at the second floor of the main facade; as well as its parade porch and front porch that contains decorative dowel and ball spindles.
Sources: 2008 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud