From The Archives
Van Epps Home
|Heated Sq. Ft.||5,500|
- Unfinished Basement
- 2 Car Garage
- Restored exterior
- Built-in Cabinets
- High Ceilings
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof
- Central air
- City sewer
- City water supply
- Gas heating
- Water Heater - Gas
- 12-foot Ceilings
- 4 Units: 1 Office & 3 Apartments.
- Separate furnaces & A/C.
- Sunrooms could be bedroom/office.
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William Van Epps Home Listed on National Register of Historic Places, Dixon, IL
This Italianate Victorian home was built circa 1855 for William H. Van Epps, a highly regarded and influential merchant and statesman once nominated for Illinois Lieutenant Governor. The house sits directly across the street from the Lee County Court House Square, where a boulder marks the location of Abraham Lincoln’s July 1856 speech.
The exterior of this grand home features Corinthian porch columns, windows with keystone accents, decorated attic windows, an elaborate cornice with brackets and dentils, and a mansard roof.
The interior originally had a large entryway with an open formal stairway and a calling parlor. Over the years, the front entryway was modified to what is currently a small vestibule with two doors accessing the upper apartments. Much of the quality workmanship can still be seen by the hardwood floors with accents of oak, maple and parquet, the four carved marble fireplaces, the large plaster cornice work and ornate ceiling medallions. Two of the marble fireplaces were imported and obtained from Mr. Potter Palmer of Chicago when the famous Palmer Mansion was being constructed. The house also still features one of the original bronze chandeliers that has since been converted from gas to electric.
The single family home was enlarged at the rear in 1900 and converted into four apartments in 1926. It now is three apartments and an office. There is a basement with laundry hook-up and a third floor/attic that was originally used as a ballroom and servants’ quarters. The attic is presently storage and houses furnaces for the upper apartments. It could, rather easily, be finished to provide for a studio, hobby area, or other shared space, if desired.
Each unit has an area of approximately 1250 sq. ft. The total floor area of both first and second floors is approximately 2750 sq. ft. Each apartment contains a large front living room (23’x14’), dining room (11’8”x14’4”), bedroom (13’x12’4”), sun room with French doors (13’x8’6”) that can be a second bedroom, and kitchen (8’10”x14’4”). One upper unit has an additional room over the entry that can be a small study or guest room. The building has recently undergone an extensive $150,000 exterior renovation. A new detached garage was built in 2001 for three stalls and a small storage unit. Please see Website at http://www.dixonhistoricbuilding.com.
This building offers many possibilities and flexibility regarding its use, such as: converted back into a single family residence, combining space on either level to accommodate a larger office or apartment on the main floor or a larger living space on the second floor, or a variety of options, including condominium conversions.
Dixon, Illinois is the county seat of Lee County located 100 miles West of Chicago on Route 88 in the scenic Rock River Valley. The building is situated directly across the street from the Lee County Court House in a well-maintained area of preserved historic properties surrounding the Court House Square. Among the many historical landmarks in Dixon, the boyhood home of former U. S. President Ronald Reagan is preserved as a national historic site.
RENOVATIONS AND RESTORATIONS
Exterior Work (2006-2007)
4 sun rooms rebuilt with new siding and new Pella double hung insulated windows
Aluminum storms and screens removed
Windows repaired – rotted wood, cracked glass, etc.
Wood trim removed and replaced with new to match
All windows and architectural wood details painted
Old paint stripped from brick and stone
Small concrete patio slab and fence installed at back
Installation of 4 new energy-efficient furnaces with air conditioning to each unit
10-year warranties on parts/labor
Previous upgrades (2001)
New garage (3 stalls and small storage unit)
Chimneys rebuilt to match original photos
News Features – for the Van Epps House, Dixon, IL
August 2003 – One of four homes included in the Historic Home Tour, City of Dixon
August 2007 – “Restoring the Van Epps House” feature article, Dixon Telegraph (“Downtown Beauty is getting a face lift.”
December 2007 – Pride Award – presented by Dixon Main Street Design Committee
Archived in January, 2013
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