1220 E. Grove
The first owner of this house, Frank Keach, was the head of the Bloomington branch of Brown's Business College. He had been in Bloomington just six years when he hired A.L. Pillsbury, one of the city's most successful architects, to build a home for his wife and expected child in 1907. The blue prints for this home are in the Pillsbury Collection of the McLean County Museum of History.
In 1907 horses were still in common use within the city. Accordingly, many larger homes had carriage houses for the carriage and horses used to pull it. The carriage house of this property is still in use as a garage and additional living area.
This two story home is entered through a reception hall with paneled staircase with two built in benches for the use of visitors. Our homes are more often entered from the back mudrooms, near the garage, than the front hall, but in the early twentieth century, the horse and buggy would arrive out front (see the steps of the carriage way in front of this house) or visitors would arrive on foot and enter through the front door.
The large living room is decorated with a handsome tiled fireplace and bay window. The dining room contains a built in china cupboard. A cozy powder room and modern kitchen stretching the width of the house complete the first floor.
On the second floor are four bedrooms and a family bath. A finished attic provides more room for family living or an additional bedroom, as it is currently being used.
About four years after the house was completed, Frank Keach took his family to California to live. Subsequent owners were Fred Mecherle (a brother of George Mecherle) and Johann Pils, both farmers. Adelaide Pils Krueger lived in the house for nearly 70 years and sold the house in 1996.
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