Take an Immersive 3D tour of this Historic Home from 1876 in Elmhurst, IL. Originally built as a church rectory in 1876, then in the 1920’s was the childhood home of Photographer Edward Steichen and his sister Lillian who was the wife of author Carl Sandburg.
This Historically significant home was built in 1876 as the first rectory for St. Mary’s Catholic church. Rev. James Dugan catholic bishop of Chicago purchased the land for the church and the rectory. In 1898 a fire destroyed the old St. Mary’s church. A new Parish Church was constructed farther south on York Rd. and the old rectory was sold. The purchaser of record was Mary Emery, wife of the founder of Chicago Rawhide Company, one of the largest manufacturers of leather goods in the United States at that time.
In the Early 1900’s the house was remodeled and used as a private school. This was in an era when horse and buggy was the mode of transportation, and kerosene lamps lit the streets. A remodeling project on the second floor bedroom by owner revealed gas lines for lighting.
On November 6, 1920, the house was purchased by John and Mary Steichen. They were the parents of renowned photographer, Edward Steichen and Lillian, who became the wife of Carl Sandberg. After the home changed hands in 1945 the original porch was removed.
The five member family moved into the century old home in 1976. The owner carried out major restorations of the home. The porch was replaced. Since the gingerbread decoration was unavailable, Leland fabricated it himself. The family stripped woodwork, sandblasted, painted throughout and gutted the kitchen. A family room, 3 porches and a breakfast room were added. The original wooden floors are still intact. The garden was landscaped with a goldfish pond. New owners purchase the home in 1987. many visitors have toured the home observing the double staircase, huge dining room and music room. This historical home has grown with Elmhurst and represents a heritage unmatched by it’s neighbors.
Source; Elmhurst Historical Society