Axel and Emma Swanson purchased Block 3, Lot 8 of the Bowen Heights Addition (1888), commonly known as 485 Arlington in 1920 for $5,500 with the house already built. The Swansons wanted additional income so they partitioned the lot in 1926, building 524 Bent Street on the east half of the lot. Their first tenant at 524 Bent Street was Charles G. Seidel. Charles was a rising, young attorney in Elgin at the time. He would go on to become Kane County Circuit Court Judge, swearing in the first council-manager government for the City of Elgin in 1955.

The Swanson's sold 524 Bent Street to Gertrude Thornton in 1946 even though they continued to live at 485 Arlington until 1950. Mrs. Thornton, a widow, was the first owner to live at 524 Bent Street. 


524 Bent Street has elements of the Colonial Revival and Craftsman styles. The broken pediment with the curved front porch roof and wide pilasters at the corners of the building are Colonial Revival details. Additionally, the overall shape and mass of the building is Colonial Revival as well (two-story, symmetrical, side gable). However, Craftsman style details can be seen at the four-over-one double-hung windows and the square porch columns. The home was restored in 2008 by Habitat for Humanity. 


Sources: 2010 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud