1846 Blodgett House Relocation and Restoration

Built in 1846 by pioneer Israel Blodgett, the Blodgett House is a significant chapler in the history of the Underground Railroad and Downers Grove, Illinois. This chapter has been saved due to the dedicated efforts of a group of private citizens who formed The Downers Grove Heritage Preservation Corp. and stepped forward to see that this piece of history was not demolished.

It is with great pride that Chicago Project Mangement joins them in the restoration and relocation of this important home from our past.

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House Structure

At first glance, the Blodgett House does not appear to be worth the effort being put into saving it from demolition.  However, under closer examination you quickly see that this is no ordinary house.

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The floor joists, visible from the basement, are hand hewed logs, likely felled on the immediate property.

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The framing members are all joined by mortise and tendon joints held together by wooden pegs.

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These and other small details are noted by Charlie Pipal, historical architect for the project.

House Relocation

The 1846 Blodgett House was originally constructed by Israel and Avis Blodgett on the site that is now the Downers Grove Historical Museum and is also the 1890 Blodgett House.

The Downers Grove Park District approved the movementof the original home back to the 831 Maple site and its full restoration.

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The addition to the right and the front porch were determined to not be original and were removed. Then the foundation was breached in several areas.

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This allowed the skilled team from Lyle Hyatt House Movers to insert beams and jack the house up onto cribbing.

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And install three sets of wheels.

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The house leaves its old basement and is on its way.

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Pulled by winch across the back lot line, it moves into the Park District Property.

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But not before the path was cleared by Big Trees.

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The house is carefully located on the new basement excavation.