582 PARK STREET
Conrad and Millie Ackemann moved into this completed home at 582 Park Street in 1901. Conrad was born in 1864 in Germany, moving to America when he was 18 years old. Those familiar with the history of the Ackemann Brothers department store might recognize Conrad’s name from when he and his brothers, Henry and Fred, took over majority ownership and ran the Ackemann Bros. business. He was an active member of the Elgin community, a member of the Elgin Board of Alderman and St. John’s Lutheran Church with his wife, Millie, whom he married in 1897. Conrad also helped organize the Elgin Commercial Club and represented the second ward in Elgin’s City Council for one year.
The length of the Ackemann’s residency in the home is unclear, as is the list of historic owners who followed the Ackemann family.
Designed by David Postle, this Shingle Style home was built in 1901. The original front porch was partially rehabbed in 1991 and full rehabbed in 2016, using a 1903 photograph for context. The back porch appears to have been enclosed in the 1920s or 1930s.
Identifying features of the style seen here include, the irregular, steeply pitched roof line, wall cladding that continues around corners and up into gables with no breaks, extensive porches, the bell shaped tower, Palladian windows, Tuscan porch columns, and multi-level eaves. Decorative brackets can be seen throughout, a nod to the Queen Anne style from which Shingle evolved.
Sources: 1991 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud