Elgin, like many cities across America in the 1920s, found themselves in a time of economic prosperity.  Leo and Alvin Andresen saw this shift as an opportunity, and began to buy land and build houses in Elgin.  The two brothers purchased enough land on the south west corner of Lavoie Avenue and May Street to develop a subdivision, which was approved by City Council in 1927.  In 1928, the Andresen brothers started working on building homes on the lots within the subdivision.  By the 1929-30 Elgin City Directory, Roy Andresen is listed as the owner of a home at 668 May Street.

Roy Andresen was the brother of Alvin and Leo, for whom the subdivision is named after, and was the treasurer for their family company, the Andresen Brothers Partners Builders.  In 1940, Joseph Gallina purchased the property.  Gallina was an Italian immigrant who owned and operated the Cockatoo Tap and Lounge at 114 S. Grove Avenue.   After he passed away in 1945, the home was sold and the next owner kept it for nearly 40 years.


668 May Street is an example of the Spanish Revival style.  Common features of this style seen on this home include the low-pitched roof with no overhang; the stucco exterior material; a prominent arched front entryway and the asymmetrical façade.  While it does not have the typical tiled roof so common to this style, it does have some indications of a parapeted wall both on the garage and the home, another feature of the style.



Sources: 2002 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud