Raynor's Addition

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Development of the Raynor's Addition Local District | Legal Description

Site Description

Raynor’s Addition Local Historic District includes one block of single-family residential buildings and one major church building located atop the upper bluff west of the Des Plaines River in Joliet. The district is located above a gently sloping site which is actually a second succession of dolomite limestone bluffs which overlook the west bank of the Des Plaines River. Western Avenue is an east/west arterial street which links the area to Joliet’s downtown by way of the Cass Street bridge, one of five trunnion bascule bridges spanning the Des Plaines River in Joliet. The majority of residential lots in the district are long, and rectangular in shape. Most of the lots are large (six are 53’ x 187’; three are 53’ x 195’; one is 63’ x 125’) compared to lots platted in other neighborhoods (typically 50' x 125').

Most of the homes in the district have limestone foundations. Homes in the district date from 1899 to 1911 and are primarily frame construction and clapboard sided. The buildings which comprise the 800 Western Avenue Local Historic District include American four-squares, an unusual Queen Anne bungalow featuring a trapezoidal bay on the front gable and an Arts and Crafts porch, a block home in the neoclassical style, a gambrel roofed Dutch Colonial, and a cedar shingle-sided Queen Anne. The block also is home to the First Presbyterian Church of Joliet, a striking Collegiate Gothic building constructed of Joliet Limestone and designed by C.W. Webster, a noted architect also responsible for many distinguished private and public buildings in Joliet, among them the Edward Barrett House at 612 Western Avenue and several schools.

Most of the houses within the district are intact and are contributing buildings to the district. There are 11 contributing houses (100%), six contributing garages, and four non-contributing garages in the proposed district. There are a total of 21 structures located in the district. Seventeen structures are contributing (81%) and four structures are non-contributing. Contributing resources are significant to the district because they possess historic integrity and reflect the character of the district during its period of significance (circa l899 through the present). Non-contributing resources either lack architectural integrity or were constructed after the period of significance of the district (post-1940).