In 1883, Jacob Schmidt, a worker at the Elgin National Watch Company, built a house on this property. He and his wife, Margaretha, lived there until 1891, when it was purchased by Kate Wendler, a widow. She later married Charles Odebrecht, who was a stone mason by trade. Historic documents show that he made exterior modifications to the home in 1926 including the removal of the porches and stoop, installed brick veneer and added a one-and-one-half story addition to the north elevation, providing a new entrance.


356 Orchard Street is an excellent example of the Tudor Revival style. The Tudor Revival style loosely draws its inspiration from late Medieval English homes. The earliest examples of this style in the United States date from the 1890s but did not become popular until the 1920s. Some characteristics of this style, that can be found on this home, is the steeply pitched roof, dominant - front facing gable, multi-paned, double-hung windows, gabled dormers and its ornate chimney. Another unique characteristic found on this home is the skintled brick. Skintled brick originated by Chicago Architects who saw the potential of using Common Brick as an artistic element. Common bricks were mainly used for their strength and fire resistance and were not deemed high quality because of their variation in color. This type of brick was later used for its artistic value by setting them roughly at different angles, projecting and recessing them beyond the wall line.  This construction type gives the home more of a rustic, vernacular look.



Sources: 2009 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud