666 GRACE STREET

HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE

In December of 1890, the Elgin Daily Courier reported its annual review of new construction in the city.  Henry Schork hired E. Lehmann to build a two-story, brick home in what was then addressed 148 Grace Street. The address numbering system changed a number of times until the mid-1890s when it changed to reflect the numbers and addresses we see to this day.

Henry B. Schork, who lived from 1843 to 1933, was married to Elise Schork, who lived from 1848 to 1893. Together they had seven children. It is unknown exactly how long the Schork family lived in the home.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

666 Grace Street is an example of the Gable-Front style, a popular example of the National Folk movement popular from roughly 1850 to 1930. Throughout the years, as other contemporaneous styles became popular, Folk homes would often borrow elements from those styles. In the case of 666 Grace and other Gable-Front homes, the influence was commonly gleaned from the Greek Revival movement, which was an extremely popular in America in the mid-1800s. 

This was often seen in the dominance of the front-facing gable, which was seen as a way to reflect the façade of Greek Temples. While not as high-styled as the styles they mimicked, Gable-Front homes were popular, in large part due to their toned down stylistic features.  Other elements often seen on the Gable-Front style, as well as here at 666 Grace Street, include the steeply pitched roof, two-story height, and a relatively narrow, rectangular, floor plan. Here, the exterior elevations are composed of masonry. The bay window feature on the side elevation and the large picture window on the front elevation with decorative stained glass at the top are nods to the Queen Anne style, popular at the end of the 19th century.

Some minor alterations have been made since it was originally constructed in 1890. A side porch has been added, the original double doors have been altered and a side staircase was later added.

TIMELINE OF PREVIOUS OWNERS

 

Sources: 1989 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud