After the crash President Obama funded a huge program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Cities nationwide were given money to buy and rehab properties made vacant problems by the crash. Elgin received over 2 million dollars. With it they bought eight properties. One they tore down as it was too far gone.
Just recently they have started work on building a new house in its place. Three houses they oversaw their own rehabilitation of spending a terrific amount of money to rehab very nicely. They all now have great new owners. When a house is nasty it attracts desperate people. You have to make them nice to attract decent people. Four homes they gave to Habitat for Humanity to rehab. This was one. It was a two unit.
They hired an architect to draw up plans for the porches.
As a volunteer, I made the balls in the balustrade, the front porch gable ornament, the rails, newels, brackets and porch skirting. The design for the skirting came from a porch nearby. Habitat stripped most of the paint off of the house, rehabbed the interior nicely, and rebuilt the porches. The only thing that could have been done better is to make the posts meatier.
Here it is today:
It was fun being a part of it.