The building was built by Harry F. Rice in 1907, and first appears in the Elgin City Directory in 1907-08. The home was design by David E. Postle, noted Elgin architect of the firm Turnbull & Postle.  Together, David Postle and George Turnbull built a number of homes and duplexes to accommodate Elgin’s burgeoning population.  Other notable designs include the Lord Memorial Museum on Grand Boulevard which is an Elgin Landmark and designed by David himself as well as the Charles & Louisa Bushe Home on Park Street which is also a Local Elgin Landmark and was designed by the firm of Turnbull & Postle.

Harry’s son, Harry A. Rice was the first inhabitant and was a prominent businessman, having serves as President of Star Manufacturing Co. and Vice-President of the Illinois Iron & Bolt Co. He and his wife Mae entertained in grand style and were great supporters of the arts in the Fox Valley area.  Mae and Harry were members of the First Congregation Church of Elgin.


838 Douglas Avenue is a fine example of the Mission Style, relatively uncommon in Elgin’s architectural landscape.  Features indicative of the style seen here include the large square piers on the porch, the stucco exterior wall surface, the façade dormers, and especially the shaped parapetted side elevations.

This house is considered a contributing structure to the overall National Register nomination for the Spring-Douglas Historic District.



Sources: 1997 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud