The home at 717 6th Ave NW belongs to one of the founders of the Mount Vernon Historic Preservation Commission. It is therefore in good hands. Older homes require plenty of upkeep, but this one’s beauty, resistance to noise from the street, and historic value, make the effort worthwhile. The home, described as a Queen Anne or Bungalow, has some unique elements. While most historic homes display windows of the same style, this house has two windows that are the only ones of their kind in the home. One features repeated and overlapping arches, while the other is in an oval pattern. The homeowners have brought in trees from Michigan, which over time have matured, providing shade and a lush atmosphere.
The owners say they were attracted to the home’s wrap-around porch and intricate woodwork. Some of the interior woodwork is salvaged from other historical places or buildings. A good example of this historic salvage process can be found in the wood paneling on the interior of an added room. It is recovered from Mount Vernon’s former railway station, which was established Jan. 1, 1902, but demolished in the 1970s. The station was a convenient means of transportation for Cornell College students and brought distinguished visitors from Chicago, such as members of the Chicago Symphony who gave summer concerts, and the writer Carl Sandburg, who enjoyed visiting his friend, Professor Toppy Tull. Pieces of the station were scattered amongst those who wanted them in town and its former fireplace can now be seen in the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Visitor’s Center.