404 W. Illinois Ave.

Project Overview

Architect: Unknown         Year Built: 1850       Architectural Style: Pre-Civil War Vernacular


Architectural Description

404 W. Illinois has a simple “classic box” form, with a rectangular footprint and a steeply-pitched single gable roof. The house is two stories and is entirely covered in blue wood shingles. A subtle blue trim accentuates the corners and the cornice line of the house. The triangular portion of the gable roof is separated from the wall surface by a pent roof. The front façade is symmetrical and has a one-story full-width porch. The porch roof is supported by simple classical columns of the Doric order. The windows are simple double-hung windows with classical white trim surrounds. The house also has a small one-story side wing with a flat roof and a row of double-hung windows. The house is a simple example of Pre-Civil War Vernacular architecture.

Historical Description

While not at it's original location, 404 W. Illinois is one of the oldest homes in Urbana. Some time around 1899, the house was moved from 303 W. Elm St. The house also originally had two wings. It is unknown when the left wing was removed. Known as the Boyden House, it was the home of two-term mayor Ezekiel Boyden. It is also the only surviving building that Abraham Lincoln is documented to have visited. Lincoln purportedly stayed with Mayor Boyden on September 24, 1858 after an afternoon campaign speach at the Champaign County fairgrounds.
Boyden was born in 1821 in Three Rivers, Massachusetts and moved to Peoria in 1845. By the early 1850s, he had moved to Urbana, where he established a plow and wagon factory with John Osfield. Following a brief period of serving in the Union Army, Boyden moved to Missouri, where he farmed until his death in 1894.
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Created on: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 15:14
- Author - admin
- Contributors: KevinG