1111 East Grove

Linus  Graves, the owner of Evergreen Cemetery, purchased several lots on Grove Street in 1857.  The lots would later hold the homes of several members of his family. In 1900 Linus Graves' family members occupied three houses on Grove Street. Arthur Graves, a son, lived at 1105; a daughter, Frances Graves Means, lived with her husband and mother at 1117 and Lelia Means Bach, a granddaughter, lived at 1109.  

Lelia Means, and her husband, William Bach built this home designed by Paul Moratz in 1906.  The drawings for the home are framed on the landing of the second floor. Paul Moratz is best known for the numerous Carnegie libraries he designed througout the Midwest.

 

This eclectic house features elements of several different styles of architecture. The heavy beamed porch, which was first planned to hang from the face of the house (note the supporting bolt on the face of the house), is reminiscent of Tudor or Spanish homes. Immediately to the left after entering the house is a fireplace of large stones similar to those in the pillars at Miller Park. This fireplace could reflect the prairie style, which relied on natural elements. The heavy timbers of the porch continue through the entry hall of the house giving a sense of dignified permanence. The unusual tear drop shaped windows at the attic level are Art Nouveau style! 

The impressive staircase, which is ornamented with two stained glass windows featuring the family crests of the Means  (or Graves) and Bach families, leads up to a long gallery overlooking the entry hall before continuing up to the second floor. Off the entry hall are two parlors and the dining room. The dining room features a coffered ceiling and built in china cabinets. A fireplace in one parlor provided warmth for that room.

Although the Graves family lived near each other on this street for many years, their proximity did not ensure good relations. The stone wall on the west side of the property was installed by Lelia Means Bach's sister, Erma Means. On the west side of the wall, only stones were used as materials, but on the east side, the wall is built of old tombstones and stone. It was said that Erma was irritated with the many garden club members who would wander onto her property during events Lelia Bach hosted. As members of the Bloomington Garden Club William and Lelia Bach hosted numerous garden parties and tours. Lelia was a prominent breeder of irises and kept ponds in the garden.

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