The History: Allyn Mansion

North America

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 | Series: Lake Geneva 2016, Spring 2016

The History: Allyn Mansion

Travel Date:

Sunday, 29th May 2016

Allyn Mansion is an Eastlake Victorian home in Delavan, Wisconsin that built by Edward Townsend Mix (American Architect) on 1885 for the Alexander Allyn family. The family had three houses, one on Lake Delavan, a winter home in Los Angeles and this mansion as their main home situated within the town. When both of the parents died (Mr. Allyn on 1913 and Mrs. Allyn on 1939), the property was given to her step-daughter Esther. Then Esther died on 1948, and her daughter Ruth inherited the house. During Ruth's time, she found the wooden sections of the house needed a lot of repairs and causing a lot of maintenance. So, Ruth decided to take out problematic parts like the tower, balcony, porch and carriage porch. Right after repairing was completed, she sold it to the city of Delavan to make it as a municipal hall. But plans changed the city sold it to an organization and used it as a nursing home. When it became a nursing home, the front lawn was converted into a parking lot. Mrs. Allyn's bedroom turned into a nursing station where they added a fire escape, a toilet and inside the house, the elevator which had been one of the facilities in the house since 1929 was also changed to make it more usable for the nursing home. In 1966, the nursing home was closed due to a possibly huge amount of cost involved if they would want to make the facility code pass the tighter laws for nursing homes.  Three years after it became a furniture store and the house had undergone another revamp. The furniture owner was trying to make some improvements like removing certain walls, covering original wallpapers, stenciled walls and frescoed ceilings. It remained a furniture store until in the year of 1983. Then on November 1984, it was bought by Joe Johnson and Ron Markwell. With the new owners, they promised to have it restored. After several years of dedication, now they made Allyn Mansion look like it was on 1885.

These are the photos of Allyn Mansion through time. Images on the right taken from Prof. McFarland website.
Recent capture May 2016
1885 Source: Prof. McFarland
1984 Source: Prof. McFarland
1988 Source: Prof. McFarland
Today Source: Prof. McFarland
Neighborhood photos along Walworth Avenue
Allyn Mansion's Neighborhood on 1929. Source: Prof. McFarland
Allyn Mansion's Neighborhood today (May 2016)

This amazing restoration project of Allyn Mansion brought a lot of awards and recognition, such as:
1992: National Trust in its Great American Home Awards 
1993: Wisconsin State Historical Society
1993: Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation

For more information about the history of Allyn Mansion, you may visit the official site: http://allynmansion.com/ or know more at Prof. McFarland Website

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