Sutton House Nomination
The Sutton House, 502 West Elm Street, is being nominated as an Urbana Landmark under the following criteria. It has significant value as part of the architectural, artistic, civic, cultural, economic, educational, ethnic, political, or social heritage of the nation, state, or community; it is associated with an important person or event in national, state, or local history; it is representative of the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type inherently valuable for the study of a period, style, craftsmanship, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials and which retains a high degree of integrity; and it is identifiable as an established and familiar visual location or physical characteristics. The house was built in 1889 by Elizabeth Sutton, widow of Royal A. Sutton, Urbana mayor (1874-75) and prominent brick manufacturer, dubbed "The Brick King of Champaign County". The structure is an excellent example of the Queen Anne architectural style and is one of two remaining examples of this style executed in brick in Urbana. It is also the only documented residential brick structure that exemplifies the masonry product produced at Urbana's important Sutton-Sheldon Brick Yards. The integrity of the house remains apparent. Although modifications have occurred over time, mostly in the conversion of the house to apartments, many of these changes are historic and have in themselves gained significance.
The Sutton House is an excellent local example of the Queen Anne architectural style. In addition, it is a rare surviving example of the style executed in masonry. Variety is the simplest way to summarize the Queen Anne style: wall surfaces varied with fish scale and other patterned wood shingles or constructed with a variety of masonry materials, asymmetrical facades with gabled pavilions and bays, a varied roof line with multiple roof types or multiple gables, windows of various types or grouped in various pairs and sets, and elaborate porches which often wrap facades to side elevations. The Queen Anne style was popular particularly for domestic architecture in the late nineteenth century, c. 1880 - c. 1910. The impetus for the style was the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia; the designs of English Victorian era architect Richard Norman Shaw were also an influence, as his work had been widely published in architectural journals. Pallisers Model Homes, 1878, and Comstocks Modern Architectural Designs and Details, 1881, were among the publications of the period which featured designs and plans for Queen Anne style houses for carpenter-builders. The Queen Anne style was also used for commercial buildings, with varied brickwork, turrets, round arches, and horizontal banding being among the stylistic features. The style may be expressed in a variety of influences, with some of the most reduced two story versions of the style having only a gabled pavilion and perhaps a cut-away bay. Simple one-story cottage examples of the style may have patterned shingles and an elaborate porch despite on a small scale house.
The Sutton House exhibits the characteristics of the Queen Anne style. It has an irregular plan and highly asymmetrical massing that includes a massive attic tower, projecting corner pavilion, and a prominent cut-away bay. The roof is composed of hip, gable, and clipped gable slopes in addition to a tall hip roof tower and a projecting corner pavilion with its own steeply pitched hip roof. Dormers further enliven the roof mass. In addition, the south elevation has an unusual and visually striking cat-slide roof element that extends from the gables apex almost to ground level. Masonry in construction, the building's walls are invigorated with a prominent stone watertable, stone lug sills, and soldier course segmental arches. Various window types are also used including segmentally-arched one-over-one-light double-hung sash, Queen Anne style stained-glass sash, and stained-glass transoms above single-hung windows. There is a single round-arched window transom. Another striking Queen Anne element is the porch that wraps around the south and east elevations. Detailed with unusual turned posts and a spindle work frieze, the porch also has a refined entry pediment. Decorative wood elements are also used in the three gables which are ornamented with wood shingles, diagonal friezes, and decorative rake boards.
Emergence and Early Development of Urbana
According to tradition, the Euroamerican settling of the area which is now Champaign County, began in 1822, three years after the establishment of Illinois as a separate state. In the first decade the influx of pioneer farmers to the area was very slow, due to lack of navigable rivers and decent roads to facilitate transportation, and to the extreme difficulty of cultivating the soils of the tall-grass prairie which, at the time, covered most of the state and was most dominant in East Central Illinois. The early settlers everywhere sought out the few forested areas scattered in the prairies -groves and river valleys-, whose friable soils were much easier to farm with the available technology, and also provided timber for the construction of cabins, for fuel, fencing, and the production of tools. In what is now Champaign County there were three major timbered areas: Big Grove, located in the center of the county along the Saline creek, the Salt Fork Grove along the Salt Fork river in the east, and the Sangamon Grove along the Sangamon river in the west. Through the mid-1830's settlement occurred nearly exclusively in these three groves. In December 1832 the residents of Big Grove petitioned the Illinois General Assembly for the establishment of a separate county, which was granted, and Champaign County was established on February 20, 1833. At the time the county's population consisted of 111 households, or approximately 720 people. The location of the county seat was fixed on June 21, in the southwest corner of Big Grove, near the confluence of the Boneyard creek with the Saline creek, on 43 acres of land donated for this purpose by early pioneer Isaac Busey, his nephew, Matthew D. Busey, and Isaac's old neighbor from Kentucky, Thomas R. Webber. The county seat was named Urbana, and was surveyed and platted on September 3-4, 1833. The original plan consisted of four east-west running streets (Water, Main, Elm, and Green), intersected by four north-south running streets (Vine, Walnut, Market (now called Broadway), and Race), with a central square reserved for the county's court house. Later this first town plan became known as the Original Town of Urbana, and today it constitutes the city's downtown. Due to lack of easy access to the outside world, population and economic growth remained very slow throughout the 1830's and 1840's, and the incoming people were mostly pioneer farmers who settled in the countryside.
Major changes occurred in the 1850's with the arrival of the railroad. The construction of the first railroad to run through Champaign County, the Illinois Central Railroad, which was to connect the northern and southern tips of Illinois, began in 1851. The tracts connecting Chicago to Urbana were finished by July 1854. The construction and arrival of the railroad resulted in a population explosion and economic boom in the entire county, and in the quick urbanization of the county seat and its twin city, West Urbana (now Champaign), which grew up around the railroad depot located in raw prairie land two miles west of Urbana. Between 1850 and 1860 the county's population increased from 2,645 to 14,629 (553%), and the size of Urbana quadrupled by the addition of over a dozen new subdivisions. The pioneer subsistence farmers of earlier years who came primarily from the Upland South (Kentucky, Tennessee, and Southern Ohio and Indiana) were replaced by land speculators, merchants, intellectuals (lawyers, doctors, teachers) and various tradesmen coming from the East (New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and North Ohio). Masses of laborers employed in the construction and operation of the railroad, and in the emerging industrial and booming construction businesses had also poured into Urbana. A large number of foreign-born immigrants, mainly of Irish and German origin, also began to arrive at this time.
The opening of large markets and the influx of formerly unavailable supplies and goods through the railroad, had fundamentally changed the local economy. The former dominance of agricultural production for primarily local use began to be replaced by a market economy. By the 1870's all the prairie land was bought up (a lot of it by speculators), and after draining the swampy prairies the land was put under cultivation, and the county was established as a major grain producing area of the state. With the influx of new residents and the opening of new markets, Urbana experienced a boom in construction and production. Along the northwestern outskirts of downtown a variety of factories sprung up overnight, many of them associated with the burgeoning construction industry and agricultural production. These included brick and tile factories, foundry and machine shop, plow and wagon factory, sash and door factory, sawmills, flouring mills, and even a woolen factory, among others. Main street became a hub of activity, lined with a variety of retail stores, saloons, law offices, banks, real estate offices, and other places of business and entertainment. Hundreds of family homes, and new churches and schools were built across town.
The City of Urbana was incorporated on February 14, 1855, and in February 1867 was chosen as the site of the first land grant college in the state - the Illinois Industrial University (later renamed University of Illinois). Winning the university for Urbana was the single most important event in the city's history, as in addition to initiating the influx of scholars and changing the intellectual climate of this fundamentally rural community, it had also attracted substantial governmental moneys for university construction, and in the long-run it had secured the twin-cities' survival and prosperity, when other small rural county seats and communities fell by the wayside after the collapse of the railroad boom. In February 1867 the first railroad to actually pass through the city of Urbana, the Danville-Urbana-Bloomington-Pekin Railroad (the later I.B. & W and Big Four), was also chartered, and was completed in 1869. This was the first railroad line to provide Urbana direct access to the markets, which to that time was only enjoyed by Champaign, and within a few years it also became one of the city's largest employers, as it located both its headquarters and repair shops (later known as the Big Four Shops) in Urbana. Later developments included the establishment of a gas lighting system in the city's homes and streets, the paving of streets, the construction of an electric rail line connecting the twin cities, the construction of hospitals, and the continued expansion of retail businesses.
The subject property is located on the northwest corner of Elm and McCullough streets, four blocks west of downtown Urbana. The area between downtown Urbana and McCullough Street (originally called North Street), and Springfield Avenue and Illinois Street is the oldest residential area of the city, having been platted between 1851-54, during the time the Illinois Central Railroad between Chicago and Urbana was under construction. This area was originally part of the 80-acre parcel that was first purchased from the United States Government by Champaign County pioneer, Isaac Busey, on May 2, 1831. After Isaac Busey's death in 1847, his extensive holdings were subdivided among his children, his daughter Lillis and her husband, James T. Roe, inheriting the land between Race and McCullough streets and Springfield Avenue and Illinois Street. Between 1851-54, Mr. Roe subdivided this area into city lots. Being directly adjacent to the Original Town of Urbana, the area was rapidly built up and occupied by people working in the emerging downtown business district. Elm Street, one of the original streets of Urbana, and a central street leading directly to the Champaign County Courthouse, quickly became one of the most prestigious streets to live on. Between 1850-1900 it was home to five Urbana mayors, two Illinois State Senators, Champaign County judges, early Urbana industrialists, merchants, bankers, real estate dealers, journalists, physicians, architects, musicians, and University of Illinois professors. The July 23, 1879 edition of the Champaign County Herald noted: "Elm Street is getting aristocratic..."
The most prestigious part of the city, however, was the area west of McCullough Street, where the subject property is located. This area underwent a different developmental trajectory from the area between Race and McCullough streets, in that it was not built up into residential city streets, but preserved a park- or garden-like setting on the western edge of town until the late 19th century. After Isaac Busey's death the area west of McCullough street came into the possession of two families. His daughter, Lillis, and her husband James T. Roe, inherited the area between McCullough and Orchard streets, which they sold to early Urbana physician, Dr. Jacob F. Snyder, and his wife Asenath in 1852-53. The area between Orchard and Busey streets went into the possession of Sarah A. Busey (daughter of Simeon H. Busey, co-founder of Busey Bank) and her husband, Joseph W. Sim, Jr., Champaign County judge, and Urbana's seventh mayor. Both Mr. Sim and Dr. Snyder subdivided their respective properties in 1858. Lots in J.W. Sim's and J.F. Snyder's subdivisions, however, were bought up not as city lots but as large, half- to two-acre estates. There were but a few such estates between McCullough and Busey streets in the 1800's, and those were occupied by the wealthiest and most outstanding people of the city, who built large and elegant residences on them. Among these were Mr. Sim and Dr. Snyder themselves.
History of, and Important People Associated with, the Subject Property
The subject property was built on land that was originally part of Dr. and Mrs. Jacob Snyder's estate, located on the northwest corner of Elm and McCullough streets. The property was purchased by Dr. Snyder's wife, Mrs. Asenath Snyder, from Lillis and James T. Roe, on June 16, 1852, and the Snyders were the first to build a residence on it, ca. 1852-53. The estate occupied two acres between Elm and Springfield and McCullough and Orchard streets, and remained undivided and occupied by a single, centrally located residence until 1889, when Mrs. Elizabeth Sutton, then owner of the estate, and builder of the subject property, subdivided it into four lots, on which four elegant residences were built in subsequent years. From the time the Snyders built the first residence on it, this corner property was continuously occupied by, and associated with, prominent and wealthy Urbana citizens until the 1930's and 1940's, when the buildings that were erected on it after its subdivision, were converted to rentals. Both as an undivided estate with a single residence, and as a subdivided area with several large residences on it, this property has represented a most elegant and visually striking site in the city. The many distinguished persons associated with it either as owner-residents, or as family members or in-laws of the owners, have made this property one of the historically most outstanding and significant locations of Urbana. The history of these families and individuals is a microcosm of the early history of the city. The first three of these families were the Snyder, Griggs, and Sutton families who had lived on the estate prior to its subdivision by Mrs. Sutton in 1889. A brief history of each of these families follows.
Dr. Jacob Snyder was a well-to-do early Urbana physician who came to Urbana with his wife and three children in 1850 from Terra Haute, Indiana. After purchasing the Elm Street estate, the Snyders erected a large residence in its central part, as indicated on the 1858 Alexander Bowman Map of Urbana. Aside from Dr. Snyder's status as one of the prosperous citizens and first physicians of Urbana, the Snyders became distinguished through the achievements and affinal associations of their children. Their son, Frank Snyder, is known as the first practical printer of Champaign County, and one of the first, successful newspaper owner-publishers of Urbana. He was also active in local politics, being City Clerk, Justice of the Peace, and Police Magistrate for several terms in each position. The Snyders became associated with one of Urbana's most distinguished families through the marriage of their older daughter, Caroline, who married John S. Busey, son of early pioneer, Matthew W. Busey, and brother of Simeon H. and Samuel T. Busey, co-founders of Busey Bank. John S. Busey was a wealthy farmer and stock raiser, and had also participated in his brothers' banking business. In 1862 he became the first Champaign County resident to represent the county in the Illinois House of Representatives, which was formerly done by politicians from neighboring counties. Through the marriage of their younger daughter, Anna, the Snyders also became associated with Abraham Lincoln who, in the 1850's, was a frequent visitor in Urbana as a practicing attorney on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Anna married attorney Henry Clay Whitney, who came to Urbana in 1854, and with his father became the first attorneys of West Urbana (Champaign). He was for years a close associate of Abraham Lincoln on the Circuit trail, and the two also became close personal friends. Their friendship and shared work and adventures as circuit riders in Central Illinois were commemorated in the book Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, written and published by Whitney in 1902.
After Dr. Snyder's death in 1862, his widow and children sold the Elm street estate to Clark Robinson Griggs on September 9, 1864. Griggs, a successful Massachusetts businessman and politician, came to Champaign County with his wife and three children in 1860 to change his career to farming. He first settled on Yankee Ridge, where he established himself as a highly successful farmer, and through his participation in the Civil War as army sutler, and trader of cotton from the South along the Mississippi river, he also accumulated significant wealth. Immediately after his return from the war in 1864, he purchased the Snyders' Elm Street estate to establish residence in the city. Shortly after the purchase, the Central Illinois Gazette (February 24, 1865, p. 3) announced: "Mr. S.C.(sic) Griggs is gathering the materials for the erection of a fine residence on the beautiful site formerly occupied by the late Dr. Snider (sic)". The new structure which replaced the former residence was a large, two-story clapboard building located in the center of the estate. After his return from the war Griggs also became involved in the state-wide political battle for the right to locate the state's first land grant college. In 1866 he was chosen to head the Champaign County committee in Springfield in this fight, and at the same time he was also elected Mayor of Urbana, and representative in the Illinois House of Representatives. In Springfield he secured the chairmanship of the Committee on Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, from which position he had ultimate control over the proposals for locating the college. Due in large measure to his tenacity, astuteness, and ability as a brilliant political manipulator, in February 1867, Urbana won the right to establish the first land grant college of Illinois in the twin cities. At the same time Griggs also succeeded in obtaining a charter for the Danville-Urbana-Bloomington-Pekin Railroad, the first railroad to run through the City of Urbana, -of which he was elected president-, as well as a charter for the first Gas Light and Coke Company which was organized to provide the streets and homes of the twin cities with a gas lighting system. His son Alfred became vice-president of this company. Griggs' accomplishments for Urbana were widely acknowledged, but none more appropriately than by Milton W. Mathews, Illinois State Senator and L.A. McClain, newspaper editor (both Elm street residents), who wrote: "No man ever lived in Champaign county who exercised a greater influence or accomplished more good for the county then Clark R. Griggs" (in "Early History and Pioneers of Champaign County" 1891:63). In 1873 C.R. Griggs and his wife moved back East and settled in Delaware. He continued in the railroad construction business in which he became a millionaire. Prior to moving out of Urbana, C.R. Griggs and his wife deeded their Elm Street estate to their daughter and son-in-law, Mrs. and Mr. W.W. Graham, who retained it only for four months. On September 22, 1873, they sold it to Royal A. Sutton.
Royal A. Sutton was born on May 10, 1837 in Romulus, New York. He moved to Champaign, Illinois in 1855, where he worked in his brother Joseph's hardware shop, which he bought out in 1860. In 1862 he married Elizabeth T. Waters, Urbana resident. In 1866 the couple moved to Urbana, and had a son, Frank. In 1867 Royal went into the brick production business. Sutton's brick ards were formerly located immediately north of Urbana and provided bricks for the original buildings of the University of Illinois, as well as for the Urbana gas works buildings. Sutton was also a contractor who built business buildings in downtown Urbana. An article in the April 19, 1871 Champaign County Gazette referred to him as the "Brick King of Champaign County". At this time, Sutton's business consisted of two yards which employed about 30 laborers and produced a total of approximately 20,000 bricks per day. Neither brickyard exists today. In 1871 the Suttons had another child, Addie. In September, 1873 they purchased the Griggs estate and moved into the former Griggs residence. Shortly after this, in April 1874, Royal Sutton was elected Mayor of Urbana (Champaign County Gazette, April 29, 1874), in which position he served one term.
Royal Sutton's wife, Elizabeth T. Waters, was born in 1842 in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Leah and Samuel Waters, Esquire. Samuel Waters was a well-known Urbana businessman originally from Pennsylvania. He operated the Pennsylvania House hotel, formerly known as the Urbana House. This was Urbana's first hotel, located in downtown, across from the courthouse. Abraham Lincoln was a regular guest at the hotel while on the court circuit in Champaign County. His visits in the hotel generated several entertaining anecdotes in some of which he and Samuel Waters are the main characters. Elizabeth Waters had several sisters, all of whom married prominent Urbana businessmen. His sister Emma married Clarence C. Sheldon, son of wealthy Urbana attorney, real estate businessman, and Illinois State Senator, Jarius C. Sheldon. Her sister Anna married Henry M. Russell, a prominent Urbana real estate businessman, and her sister Katie married Norris J. McConney, the first conductor on the I.B., & W. Railroad, rail master and agent, and Urbana businessman. In addition to being brother-in-laws, C.C. Sheldon and N.J. McConney were also Royal Sutton's business partners in the brick business. Through N.J. McConney, the Suttons were also related to prominent Champaign County Judge and Champaign County historian, Joseph O. Cunningham, whose wife, Mary, was McConney's sister. Royal and Elizabeth Sutton were thus members of the social elite of post-Civil War Urbana. Contemporary newspapers frequently described lavish parties and weddings at the Suttons' Elm street residence attended by the most prominent members of Urbana society.
Royal Sutton died on April 17, 1881 at the age of 44, after a long illness, and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Urbana (Champaign County Gazette, April 20, 1881, p.8). In May 1889, Elizabeth Sutton and her two children subdivided the family estate into four lots, and she sold her home (the former Griggs residence) with 120 feet ground (Lot 2) to Marion Pillsbury, wife of Dr. William L. Pillsbury, a graduate of Harvard University, Secretary of the Agricultural Experimental Station and first Registrar of the university (Champaign County Herald May 1, 1889, p.1). The Pillsburies immediately moved into the home with their three children (Champaign County Herald May 8, 1889, p.1). At the same time she sold 60 feet off the west side of her estate (Lot 4) to Grace Bills, wife of Frank L. Bills, Urbana Postmaster (Champaign County Herald May 1, 1889, p.1). A year later, in August 1890, she sold the east 36 feet of Lot 3 to Mrs. Marion Pillsbury, and its west 24 feet to Mrs. Grace Bills.
Mrs. Sutton retained the easternmost lot (Lot 1) of her subdivision, on which she had a brick mansion constructed - the subject property at 502 West Elm Street. Construction commenced in June 1889 (Champaign County Herald, June 5, 1889, p.1). Mrs. Sutton moved into her new home on December 14, 1889, which was described as "one of the most beautiful and convenient residences in the city" (Champaign County Herald, December 18, 1889, p.1). About the time Mrs. Sutton's mansion was being built, Grace and Frank Bills also began the construction of a new residence on Lot 4 of Mrs. Sutton's subdivision (Champaign County Herald September 25, 1889, p.1). They moved in early next year.
The Sutton mansion is one of two remaining brick Queen Anne residences in Urbana, and is likely made from bricks produced at the Sutton-Sheldon brickyards which were operated by Mrs. Sutton's brother-in-law, C.C. Sheldon, following her husband's death. A lavish reception was held here for the wedding of Elizabeth's daughter Addie to Hugo Speidel, University of Illinois graduate, on December 19, 1893. The wealth and opulent life style of the Sutton family is aptly reflected by the fact that the wedding, which hosted about one-hundred guests, was catered by "Kinsley", at the time the most famous and most fashionable restaurant of Chicago. In May 1894, Elizabeth Sutton moved to Paterson, New Jersey to live with her daughter Addie and son-in-law Hugo. She died of a stroke at her daughter's residence in Paterson, on March 25, 1906, at age 64. She is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana with her husband.
After the Suttons moved out of their residence at 502 West Elm Street, it was rented to C.N. Clark who operated a marble and granite works in Urbana. The Suttons sold the property to Mrs. Grace Bills in September 1895. The 1948 city directory designates this property as a student house, and in the 1949 directory nine occupants are listed at this address. Currently, 502 West Elm Street still functions as an apartment building.
Placement of the Property within the Community
As indicated above, the area west of McCullough Street, where the subject property is located, was originally a neighborhood of large estates on the western edge of the city. These estates were gradually subdivided into city lots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time, a second building boom started on Elm Street and nearby streets, driven by the second and third generations of the Urbana well-born and well-to-do. During this process many of the original, old residences of the area were replaced with more modern houses. As a consequence, the majority of the present building stock in the area consists of turn-of-the-century late Victorian and early post-Victorian structures. Starting around the time of the Second World War, many of the old residences on Elm Street and surrounding streets were sold out of single family ownership, and were converted to rental properties. This resulted in the influx of new classes of residents to the area, including students and middle-class citizens. From the 1960's - 1970's on many of the beautiful and historically important, old residences on Elm Street were demolished and replaced with unsightly and cheaply constructed apartment buildings which significantly undermine the historic character and aesthetic quality of this once important street and neighborhood. The subject property is one of the few structures remaining on Elm Street from the elegant buildings of a by-gone era.
Relationship to Other Properties of Similar Architectural Style
A number of Queen Anne residences are extant in Urbana. Probably the best-known examples that are of the size and architectural quality of the Sutton House are located along Main Street. These five residences (506, 508, 510, 603, and 605), together with the Lindley House (Bed and Breakfast) at 312 West Green Street, are classic examples of the style. Other Queen Anne style houses, and many influenced by the style, are scattered around the city. However, all of these examples are executed in wood, and most of them were built in the mid-to-late 1890's. The Sutton House is unique in its masonry construction and is also an early (1889) example of the style. Although the building's architect is unknown, its eccentric design is suggestive of a creative and accomplished architect. In its unique design and quality materials the building is an excellent embodiment of the life style of the well-to-do, early industrial leadership of the city.
Property Description (Architectural)
This two-and-one-half story Queen Anne style brick residence was built in 1889 by Elizabeth Sutton, widow of R.A. Sutton, from materials from his brickyard; it was altered to house apartments by 1949. Its asymmetrical massing, irregular plan, varied building materials, and elaborate porch and gable details are prominent aspects of the Queen Anne architectural style. Masonry in construction, the house is ornamented with vermiculated stone details in the watertable and lug sills. Slightly segmental one-over-one-light windows are primarily used on the house and most of the windows are topped by soldier course segmental arches. Both hip and gable components comprise the irregular roof, which is covered with asphalt shingles. The residence is dominated by a two-and-one-half story cat-slide gable on the south elevation, a projecting square pavilion on the southeast corner, and a large square tower on the west. An elaborate Queen Anne style porch wraps around the south and east elevations.
Wrapping around the south and east elevations is a one-story porch with a raised brick foundation. Below-grade windows with concrete window wells are set into this foundation. Unusual turned and tapered posts incorporating single and paired balls support the porch's frieze and roof. Curved side brackets flank the posts and there is a decorative spindle frieze. On the south elevation, at the west end of the porch, a gabled pediment marks an original entry. Here the posts are doubled and each pair is connected by open circle-patterned panels in their frieze areas. Open side braces arch to form a round arch entryway between the double posts. The gable pediment is decorated with a half-round "spoked" blind arch applied to vertical sheathing; a small "pent" roof is below. Directly ahead, the original doorway is brick infilled, but the threshold and transom (one-light awning sash) remain.
At the west end of the south elevation is a large single-hung one-light sash with an elaborate stained-glass transom. To the east of the infilled entry is a single one-over-one-light window. A projecting square pavilion truncates the southeast corner. The second story of the south elevation has two one-over-one-light windows set over the infilled entry and eastern window. A steeply-pitched wall gable is to the west of the corner pavilion; its west rake continues down as a "cat-slide" roof to terminate below the first-story sash at the west corner. The east rake dies into the pavilion's roof. A diagonal patterned wood frieze is set below the gable, which is decorated with a variety of wood shingle styles (butt, diamond, and octagon) along with paired Queen Anne style stained-glass one-over-one-light windows. The gable's rakes are decorated with unusual open Greek crosses. To the west of the gable, atop the cat-slide roof, is an added shed roof dormer sheathed in artificial siding. Recessed behind the cat-slide roof the brick wall of the south elevation's plane continues; a single narrow one-over-one-light window is at the west end of the second story. Above, the frieze is covered in artificial siding.
The projecting southeast corner pavilion has a solid entry door with narrow transom facing southeast that opens onto the porch. Its second story has a single-hung one-light window with stained-glass transom. Above it the gable's diagonal wood frieze continues and extends to the north. The pavilion has a molded cornice and is capped by a steeply pitched hip roof with a hip roof dormer. Continuing around the east elevation, at the south end, are one-over-one-light windows on both stories. Above the windows is a tall hip roof dormer. A cut-away gabled bay is off-center to the north at the end of the porch. Opening onto the porch from the bay's south face is a solid entry door with narrow transom. The bay's center face has a wide single-hung one-light window with stained-glass transom, while the north face has a single one-over-one-light window. The second story has three one-over-one-light windows. Ornate wood corner brackets accent the cut-away bay below the eaves and consist of quarter-round brackets with "spokes", scalloped edging, and large corner drops. The gable of the bay has wood details similar to that of the south gable. The original paired windows of the gable, however, have been replaced by a modern door that opens onto a modern metal fire escape with platforms and steps down to grade. The wood shingle details of the gables are repeated in a quarter gable roof cricket set lower and to the north of the bay. Basement windows are found on the center and north faces of the cut-away bay with paired windows continuing to the north. The north end of the porch, adjacent to the bay, has below-grade entries. The rear section of the east elevation has wide openings infilled with brick and one-over-one-light windows on each story. At the north end is an entry with wood steps and a raised "stair" window above. All of these rear openings are without segmental arches. Recessed from the east elevation is a historic attached brick garage which has a stepped parapet. Below-grade entries are located in the reentrant angle: an entry to the basement faces north, while an entry to the garage faces east. A shed roof porch shelters the entries and has an engaged turned post similar to the facade porch to the south and a partial post to the north that rests upon a low brick balustrade. Above, in the corner, is a one-light window (facing north) and artificial siding infilling a larger opening. The east elevation of the garage has small one-light windows in the center and to the north.
The north elevation of 502 West Elm Street has the one-story garage projecting northward from the main body of the house. A single small one-light window is centered in the garage. Continuing around the garage, its west elevation has a center at-grade solid door flanked by paired one-over-one-light windows (the north window is blocked by wood). Above, the parapet is sheathed in artificial siding. The second story of the house's north elevation has paired windows in the east and west corners that flank a center window. A clipped gable roof covers the center rear section of the house.
Returning to the southwest corner of the house and continuing along the west elevation is a slightly below-grade solid entry door facing west at the south end of the cat slide roof. At-grade basement windows continue along the west elevation with their heads set directly below the stone watertable. Set slightly to the north of the southwest corner is a raised entry with a wood porch and protecting canvas awning "hood". Windows flank the entry. Directly north of the entryway are two small raised sash followed by a tall one-over-one-light window, a shorter one-over-one-light window, and paired shorter one-over-one-light windows set off-center to the north. At the north end is an at-grade entry with a raised "stair" window above. The garage then abuts the house. Beginning at the south end of the second story is a large single-hung one-light window with a round-arched stained-glass transom; over the small raised sash are two one-over-one-light windows. A wall gable is set over these windows and has shingle, sash, rake, and frieze details similar to the south elevation's gable. To the north of the gable are two single one-over-one-light windows and paired one-over-one-light windows are at the north end. Dominating the west elevation, however, is a massive square brick attic tower with a tall, steeply-pitched hip roof that rises from the plane of the south elevation. The tower has two center Queen Anne style one-over-one-light windows facing west; the south elevation has a double-hung window to the west and a one-light casement on the east. Below the hip roof is a heavily modillioned cornice. Abutting the northwest corner of the tower is a shed roof dormer that is set into the south slope of the west gable; the dormer has a one-over-one-light window. A tall parged chimney is adjacent to the tower on its northeast corner.