Built in 1846, the Nancy Kimball house is the oldest cobblestone building in Elgin, and one of the last ones left standing. It was built for the widow of one of Elgin’s founders, Joseph Kimball by her sons, William and Samuel. The Kimball brothers later served as mayors of the city. This building is unique and important to Elgin as one of the last old architectural styles left in Elgin, with 16 inch thick cobblestone walls, a source of neighborhood pride and a project that promotes architectural preservation and adaptive re-use.
The Elgin History Museum, Near West Neighbors Association and the City of Elgin have created a team dedicated to restoring the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone Home into a gallery space for exhibition of local history, decorative art and the work of craftsmen. A work room for hands on demonstrations and community projects. A venue for education programs serving the nearby schools, as well as adult learners and a small group meeting space. Walk by to see the progress! Located at 302 W. Chicago Street.
Washington Elementary School celebrated 125 years in 2017. To mark the day students planted a tree in the front yard and a community celebration took place. Over the years expansions have been carefully done to preserve some of the original 1890s Richardson Romanesque look. The original school bell that used to hang in the attic was on display and a portrait of George Washington made a surprise return to its original home. Donated to the school in 1899, the artwork went missing until it showed up in the mail one day in the fall of 2016. A man from Colorado found it in a frame he purchased at a Goodwill Store. The portrait now hangs in the school for all to enjoy. Take a walk by this historic school, located at 819 W. Chicago Street.
St. Laurence Catholic Church officially opened with Forty Hours Devotion on November 24, 1929. A dedication occurred May 18, 1930. The church underwent a renovation on the interior beginning in 1971 under the guidance of Father Philip O’Neil. The church was closed for about 5 weeks with mass being celebrated in the auditorium. The re-dedication took place on November 28, 1971.
In 2003 the parish undertook a major renovation on the building to add a narthax, elevator and sacristy. The renovation also enlarged the balcony and returned the church to a more traditional look. It is how the church stands today. Talk a walk by this beautiful church located at 225 Jewett Street.
This Elgin school has been located at 335 Locust Street since 1855. It was burned down and rebuilt three times, the last in 1906, at which time it was re-named the George P. Lord School, in honor of the philanthropist, and designed by Elgin architect, W.W. Abell. The Lord School closed in 1939. In 1941 it was sold to the three Elgin Catholic parishes and re-named St. Edward High School, which opened in the fall of 1941. In 1950-51 St. Ed’s built a gymnasium addition, which is now the oldest building on campus. The former Lord School, which became St. Ed’s core building, was razed in 1967. St. Ed’s has also had additions in 1963, 1970 and 2002. Located at 335 Locust Street.