715 W Delaware Ave.

Project Overview

Architect: Unknown         Year Built: c. 1927       Architectural Style: French Eclectic


Architectural Description

715 W. Delaware is a French Eclectic house which was built in 1927. The house has an L-shaped plan topped with steeply-pitched hip roofs with flared eaves. A prominent square tower, topped with a hip roof and a finial, which houses the main entry sits in the crook of the L-shaped plan. The house is constructed of multi-colored brick. One of the main features of the house is the subtle, intricate, brickwork. For example, the corners of the house have decorative quoins, or protruding bricks, that articulate the corner. A thin string course of brick runs along the upper half of the second story. A soldier course of bricks emphasizes the upper half of the second story of the tower. The windows on the first story are segmental arch windows which have segmental arch lintels made of brick. Stone keystones are used at the center of the brick segmental arch lintels. The windows on the second story are segmental arch windows with wood trim and wood segmental arch lintels. Several of these windows actually break the roof line of the house. Some windows are completely outlined in a stretcher course of bricks. A tall, thin, rounded arch window has a simple diamond pane of stained glass. The windows on the east side of the house have bracketed overhangs above the windows. Elliptical arched windows, called basket handle windows, can also be seen on the east side. The main entry, located in the square tower, has a fan light above the door. Above the fan light is a broken pediment supported by brackets. There is a small niche above the center of the broken pediment which holds a small sculpture. Overall, the subtle details of the house make it a wonderful example of French Eclectic architecture.

Historical Description

Albert and Lucille Whiting, founders and owners of The Urbana Laboratories, were the original occupants of the home, where they resided for more than thirty years. Albert Whiting was a professor at the University of Illinois' College of Agriculture and also worked for the Agricultural Experiment Station before creating The Urbana Laboratories, which specialized in chemical and bacterial crop treatments. It was originally located at 406 N. Lincoln, and later moved to 402 N. Race after Albert's death. Though no longer in existence, The Urbana Laboratories specialized in soil and seed testing during the 1970s. During his career Albert Whiting trade-marked chemical tests for soils and plant tissues. A book written by Lucille Whiting entitled Microbial and Viral Pesticides was posthumously published in 1982. Their work certainly contributed to both the University community as well as to the surrounding agricultural region. Beyond this, Lucille Whiting was involved in the community, once serving as president of the Cunningham Children's Home. Also notable was Albert Whiting's personal film and 35-mm slide collection documenting his foreign travels. His collection was used by the U.S. Army and Navy prior to the Italian and French invasions of World War II.


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Created on: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 16:06
- Author - admin
- Contributors: KevinG