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Tanner Historic District
Locally Designated Historic District 1998
1. 15 Blackhawk Street, c.1890
This house was built circa 1890 as a rental property. Note the Eastlake style vertical board trim, shaped gable shingles and floral gable trim.
2. William Whildin House, c.1895
17 N. Blackhawk Street
Built circa 1895, this house is similar to 15 Blackhawk, but has a more varied plan. Whildin was the proprietor of a boarding and livery stable on Galena Boulevard.
3. 420 W. New York Street, 1880
Built circa 1880 in the Italianate style, decorative features include the window hoods and side bay brackets. Rev. William Windsor, pastor of the New England Congregational Church, was one of the earliest occupants of this house.
4. George Hanna House , 1886-1887
427 W. New York Street
Hanna Bros. store was established in the 1870s on River Street. One brother, George, had this Italianate style house built in 1886-1887. He soon left for California, and Robert Safford, a wholesale grocery salesman, next owned the house. The paired porch brackets under the eaves, carved limestone window lintels and the house’s beveled corner contribute to the home’s elegance.
5. Lucy H. Johnson House, 1911
435 W. New York Street
This Bungalow was built in 1911 for Miss Johnson, a teacher at West Aurora High School. The broad roof, low dormer and recessed porch are typical of the early twentieth century Bungalow style.
6. Clifford Lamb House, 1914
439 W. New York Street
Clifford Lamb, a local contractor, chose a tile block construction system for his house. Built in 1914 in the Prairie School style, its stucco exterior has an entrance hood reminiscent of Chicago architect George Maher’s work.
7. Lucius M. Todd House, 1890-1891
102 N. View Street
Todd was co-founder of White & Todd Lumber Yard on Lake Street near Benton Street. He selected the interior woodwork and ornate exterior trim for this Queen Anne style home, which was built between 1890-1891. Note the shaped shingles and floral trim in the gables.
8. Judge George Hollenback House, 1893
108 N. View Street
Hollenback was the first child of European descendants born in Kendall County. He later served in the court and Illinois General Assembly. He had this Queen Anne style house built in 1893. The octagonal corner bay provides a picturesque profile, while the sunburst patterns, shaped gable shingles and sawtooth window trim contribute to the lavish effect.
9. Ira Smith House, 1893-1895
213 N. View Street
Ira Smith, a lawyer, had this Queen Anne style house built between 1893-1895. It has a floral porch pediment, shaped gables, plus bulls eye blocks in the small front gable.
10. J.B. Swalley House , 1894
309 N. View Street
This Queen Anne style house was built in 1894 for J.B. Swalley, a dry goods merchant. Note the pressed metal floral pattern in the porch pediment and shaped gable shingles.
11. Fairview Apartment, 1908-1909
304-306 N. View Street
This four-unit apartment house was built in 1908-1909. E.R. Conklin, manager of Aurora’s Bell Telephone franchise granted in 1902, began the construction but ran into financial difficulties. State senator Henry H. Evans completed Fairview. The building is made of both formed and cast concrete and features a fireplace in each unit.
12. Button-Hobbs house, 1892-1894
313-315 N. View Street
Button built this house between 1892-1894 and sold it to Ernest Hobbs, son of Reuben Hobbs and president of the Aurora Cotton Mills. The use of brick on the first floor and shingles above was a popular treatment of Queen Anne style houses.
13. J.H. Fellows House, 1890-1892
319 N. View Street
This house was built by Fellows between 1890-1892. It soon sold to Ivor Montgomery, a lawyer. The shingled, round arched portico is characteristic of the Shingle Style.
14. LeDuc-Lincoln House, 1887
318 N. View Street
Dr. Elisha LeDuc began construction on this Queen Anne style house in 1887. When Mrs. LeDuc died in 1889, the house sold to David Lincoln, superintendent of Aurora Silver Plate company. The original porch that wrapped around the View Street and West Park Avenue facades was removed in the 1950s, and meticulously restored in 1999 based on historic photos. Note the shaped shingles and turned porch trim.
15. Charles A. Gronberg House, 1890
373 West Park Avenue
Constructed in 1890, this Queen Anne style home features a corner turret, fishscale shingles, and pressed metal floral detail in the front porch pediment. After it was built, it was continually inhabited by members of the Gronberg family for over 100 years. The wrap around porch was authentically restored in 2002.
16. Hanna House, c.1885
315 West Park
This Italianate home was built c.1885 for John Hanna who came to Aurora from New York in 1857. The Hanna Bros., who dealt in shoes and boots, operated their business on S. River Street for many years.
17. Miller House, 1906
418 Palace Street
Built by W.E. Miller, this home is a late example of the Queen Anne style. Note the porte cochere on the north side of the house. In 1909, Mrs. Sarah Beckwith, a widow and philanthropist, purchased the home. Her late husband, Capt. Warren Beckwith, was one of the founders of the Western Wheeled Scraper Company. The upstairs bedrooms still retain the original call buttons for the servants.
18. Hall/Smith Home, 1853/1910
310 West Park
The front portion of this home dates to 1853 when it was built for Benjamin F. Hall. Hall founded the Aurora Beacon in 1846 and became Aurora’s first mayor in 1857. He later died in the Lady Elgin disaster in Chicago. The house was originally designed as an Italianate mansion with a central cupola in the low-pitched roof. It was extensively remodeled sometime between 1907 and 1910 by Capt. C.H. Smith whose taste ran to Georgian Revival. Note the matching coach house. Dormitories were added to the building in 1944 when the home was donated to the Juvenile Protection Association. The J.P.A. was founded in 1914 by Edna Smith, Capt. Smith’s daughter.
19. Tanner House, 1856
304 Oak Avenue
Presently the home of the Aurora Historical Museum, this brick home was originally built in 1856 for William Tanner, a prominent Aurora hardware merchant. The plan is designed in the shape of a Latin cross. It is an exceptional example of Italianate architecture. Particularly noteworthy are the octagonal cupola, the large diagonal wooden brackets with pendants, and the pediment-like window hoods. Also noteworthy is its state of preservation. Aside from the removal of the railings from the two front balconettes and remodeled porch, the house has not been altered significantly for 125 years. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. An admission fee is charged.
20. Hardy House, c.1868
301 Oak Avenue
This early Italianate style building has the original entry porch with Italianate brackets and dentils. It has a limestone foundation, and low-pitched hipped roof.
21. Kinney/Crego House, c.1880
333 Oak Avenue
This house was remodeled in 1891 in the Queen Anne style by George Crego who came to Aurora in 1850 from Oneida County, New York. Crego, known for his extensive local real estate interests, lived in this home after he retired from his farm in Kaneville.
22. Malmer House, 1908
233 West Park Avenue
Constructed in 1908, this residence was designed and built by Eugene Malmer, a prominent local architect (see section on Malmer). The house was designed in the Prairie Style, characterized by the horizontal emphasis exhibited in the low extended porch roof, the limestone coursing on the second floor, and the wide overhanging eaves. The interior was designed in the Arts and Crafts style. Malmer resided here until his death in 1943.
23. Foulke House, 1901
247 West Park Avenue
William Foulke, treasurer of the Western Wheeled Scraper Works, built this late Queen Anne style home in 1901. It features a polygonal tower, hipped dormers and diamond-paned windows. From 1965 to 2006, it was owned by Bruce and Claire Newton, creators of over 200 puppets including the famous Garfield Goose. During this period it became known as the “Garfield Goose House.”
24. Squire House, c.1892
411 Oak Avenue
Widow Sara Squire moved from her home at the corner of Spruce and New York Streets when she had this home built in 1892. Even though the Queen Anne style is most easily identifiable, there are also Shingle style elements here, such as the massing (the home doesn’t have the tall, vertical feel of most Queen Anne homes), the classical porch columns, and the shingles in the attic gables.
25. Worcester Home, 1914
415 Oak Avenue
Constructed in the English Cottage style, this stuccoed house was built in 1914 for Francis Worcester. In 1922, D.K. Ewing purchased the home. He was the secretary and treasurer of the Aurora Refining Company. Note the eyelid dormer.
26. Franch House, 1926
441 Oak Avenue
Max Franch, a local merchant, built this Italian Renaissance style home in 1926. Note the symmetrical facade, arched door, and arches above the first floor windows. In 1933, it was purchased by Harry C. Murphy who later became President of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Before becoming president in 1949, Murphy literally worked in every department of the railroad. It was under Murphy’s direction that the Burlington made many of its railroading innovations.
27. Anderson House, c.1912
450 Oak Avenue
This large square brick house was designed by architect Eugene Malmer and built c.1912 for A.M. Anderson, a vice-president of the Aurora Serum Co. Its low hip roof, wide eaves and stringcourse of contrasting stone between floors are derivative of Prairie School architecture with its emphasis on horizontal lines. Note the beautiful beveled glass windows and doors.
28. Norling House, c.1910
443 Wilder Street
Architect Eugene Malmer designed this Tudor Revival home for his friends, the Norlings. The original drawings were found in this house. They are the only known Malmer residential drawings that are preserved. A copy is on file with the Commission.
29, Skom House, 1926
417 Wilder Street
Ceramic tile roofs are not a common sight in Aurora, but you can find one on this Italian Renaissance Revival style home. Other architectural details include the paired double hung windows with arched windows on top on the first story. Each first story window also features a keystone on top. Then elaborate arched doorway is also common to the Italian Renaissance Revival style. This property also features a garage that matches the house.
30. Dooling House, 1909
408 N. Lake Street
Also designed by Eugene Malmer, this brick structure was built in 1909 for J.T. Dooling, President of the Aurora Candy Co., grocer, and manager of the Keystone Building. The structure’s emphasis on the horizontal, as exhibited by the hipped roof, wide eaves, stucco bands and stone moldings, is derived from the Prairie School style of architecture.
Near the Tanner Historic District:
1. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 1931
(Fox Knoll Retirement Center)
421 N. Lake Street
Designed by the architect Wybe Jelle’s Van der Meer of Rockford, Illinois, Mercy Manor was dedicated on September 20, 1931, as St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. This Collegiate Gothic style structure is six stories high, excluding the 7 1/2 story tower. Note the delicate stone tracery in the tower.
2. Wilder Park, 1839
Lake Street and West Park Avenue
In 1839, this land was donated to the Town of West Aurora by Roswell Wilder, a well-known hotelkeeper for the “town square”. Roswell and Clark Wilder were early settlers of West Aurora, arriving here from New York in 1837. West Aurora was incorporated with the Village of Aurora in 1857. Wilder also donated the land for the first west side cemetery 2 blocks north on Lake Street.
3. Wormley House, c.1881
340 N. Lake Street
Lake Street was once a fashionable residential district, lined with elegant homes such as this 1884 Italianate home. Note the paired scroll brackets supporting the wide eaves. This home was built by Henry Wormley, a gentleman farmer.
4. Kennedy House, c.1880
211 Cedar Street
Moved to its present location in 1915, this large brick home originally stood around the corner (where Brown’s Florist is now located) facing Lake Street. It was built in approximately 1880 for Charles Kennedy, a successful businessman. Its rather austere red brick facade is accented by limestone lintels and hood molds above the windows. Inside an early system of central air-conditioning was installed around 1930. Water pumped from the Fox River was passed through heat exchangers in the attic that cooled the air in summer and heated it in the winter.