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The small railroad town of Ackley, on the northern boundary of Hardin County, houses two dwellings influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. At 321 Hardin Street is a good-sized Craftsman bungalow built around 1915 for Dr. I. L. Potter. The dwelling and its extensive terrace, pergola, and living porch are set on a raised brick basement. Underneath the porch, terrace, and pergola, the wall of the raised basement is broken by a rhythmic pattern of low, arched openings. Brick walls are carried up to the first-floor window sills, and narrow clapboarding above continues up to meet the stuccoed gable ends. The broad overhanging roof of the gable ends is supported by groups of three open-angled brackets.

One block to the north, at 903 Main Street, is the Fred E. Trainer house (1915). This Prairie school dwelling designed by the Chicago architect Henry K. Holsman is similar in spirit to the work of George W. Maher and Spencer and Powers. The street facade of the house is essentially symmetrical, with windows on each side of the entrance and nearly identical porches at each end. A single steeply pitched hipped roof, broken by dormers with hipped roofs, covers both the main volume and the two porches. Brick veneer covers the walls up to the second-floor window sills, then plaster forms a horizontal band between the top of the brick walls and the roof soffits above. A pair of simple columns supports the open-truss gabled roof of the entrance porch. All of the roofs are covered with red tile. At the rear of the dwelling is a one-and-a-half-story building containing a garage and workroom; it is designed to match the forms of the walls and roof of the main house.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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