72 N. Liberty Street is designed in the Queen Anne style built in 1892 for Frank and Frances Allen. From 1889 through 1892, Frank Allen lived at 77 Hill Avenue while working as a Legislative Committee Clerk and Book Keeper at the firm Hunter and Given. He was the third ward alderman at the time he moved into 72 N. Liberty with his wife, Frankie, as she was known. The couple lived at 72 N. Liberty for 16 years until Frank's death in 1908. Frances sold the home to George and Anna Knecht.

George was a tailor in Kankakee, Illinois. Anna's father, William Grote, was a real estate speculator and a former Mayor of Elgin from 1891 to 1895. George passed away in 1924 while Anna remained at 72 N. Liberty until her death in 1950. The Knechts had one son, Walter, who inherited the property and eventually rented it for 20 years. Walter and his wife, Erma, lived at 525 E. Chicago Street at that time.


This two-and-a-half story home is typical in its configuration of many Queen Anne styles with its steeply pitched pyramidal hipped roof with lower cross gables found on its north and south elevations. The most distinctive feature of this home is the octagonal two-story corner tower with a bell shaped roof. The home is also detailed with clapboard siding on its first floor and shingled siding on its second.



Sources: 2015 Heritage Plaque Application