For years 132 N. Channing was a two unit that was not nice enough to attract decent people. The Gifford Park Association uses the proceeds from its annual Historic Elgin House Tour to purchase and rehab problem properties. In 30 years, this was the fourth one they did.
The home had asphalt siding on it and the Gifford Park Association used volunteers to take it off in their annual Great Unveiling. The cement stoop was taken off with a traditional wood one replacing it.
On the back of the house we found a shadow showing a Mansard type roof on the porch. We put that back in copper.
As a volunteer, I made the newels, treads, posts, balusters and brackets. All the wood was recycled from an old redwood water tower taken down in Chicago. As always I made a full scale mockup to check on the scale and to show to the Design Review Committee for approval.
To make more room in the kitchen for cabinets, the door with windows was blocked on the other side with windows painted black so the wall is not shown. We did not want to change the original outside of the house but needed the room in the kitchen. There is another door to the kitchen on the back of the house so it was not needed. The other door shown goes into the dining room.
Many old houses built in the 1870s and 1880s have a door from the dining room to the outside. It was designed to let dining guests spill out to the outside – maybe to smoke or just to chat and enjoy the outside air.
The front of the house had a wonderful canopy so we added a balustrade to match. The spindle design in the bracket was duplicated for the balustrade.
I designed and made the balustrade. This picture is before the finials were added.
I am proud to say that I made wooden storm windows for all of the basement windows.
And I duplicated missing trim and bullseyes
By making it nice we were able to attract young new people to our neighborhood. The Gifford Park Association lost money on the project but it was well worth it to get this wonderful addition to our neighborhood.
Habitat for Humanity rehabbed the house next door and one two houses south so the street scape has really improved. Here is a before and after shot of 140 N. Channing done by Habitat for Humanity. The home was purchased by the city of Elgin and was given to Habitat.
Here is a after and before shot of 114 S. Channing, again rehabbed by Habitat for Humanity.
The home was purchased by the city of Elgin and given to Habitat.