Save This Old House: Free Illinois Queen Anne
This 1896 home needs someone to bring its grand details back to life
Published: November 19, 2015
Price: Free (must be moved)
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Contact: Chris Becker, 217-553-4629
In the late 1800s, what is now the Enos Park area of Springfield was noted for its grand houses, owned by local captains of industry. It's no wonder: Just down the road, you could see the Italianate mansion where Mary Todd lived, with her sister Elizabeth, while she was being courted by her future husband, Abraham Lincoln. And around the corner? The site where Lincoln announced his (unsuccessful) 1858 run for the U.S. Senate. So by 1896, when George Helme moved into this newly built Queen Anne, the area was full of trade and political significance. The house has since seen many owners and a few renters but has been empty since 2013, when a hospital purchased the property it sits on.
Shown: The 2,800-square-foot house includes four bedrooms and three baths.
Ornate touches include leaded-glass windows, original wood floors framed with inlaid borders, and fluted casings topped with decorative corner blocks.
Shown: The foyer is ringed with an inlaid border on the wood floor, plus classical-style stacked baseboards that curve to fit the wall.
First, the house must be moved—but the neighborhood association has secured a nearby lot, so you won't have to worry about purchasing one. The front porch and the aluminum siding will need to go, per association requirements; you'll have to replace them with something more period-appropriate.
Shown: Many of the original doors remain, including this tall pocket set leading to the front parlor.