Friday, July 4, 2014

#153: Emma Kunz House

Hey wait....Emma who? Here is the other of two historic houses in downtown Belleville. I've questioned a lot about this place. Like I've always said during this cakehunt: 'I didn't know this place ever existed!'. In this case, I'm wondering who Emma Kunz was. I'll get to that later. And what is so significant about her house? Do people come from all over the country to visit this place? Maybe, maybe not. I will say this: the house has been refurbished many times and today, visitors get to experience 19th century lifestyles and what was considered technology back then. The way we look at it today is similar to Amish people.

Warning: When searching for these cakes, you will need a great GPS or if you're old-school like me, a zoomed-in print-out version of the cake map. If you don't often go to Belleville, you're probably unfamiliar with the one-way streets and constant four-way stops in the downtown part.

The factoids:
  • House was built in 1851 by Conrad Borman, a local brick contractor. (Note: some other sources say 1830)
  • It is noted to be the earliest dated Greek Revival house in Belleville and possibly in Illinois.
  • The house was originally located on Washington Street in Belleville but in 1972 it was moved to its current location. It did not have a front yard, which was typical European-style at that time.
  • Because of its historical significance, it was saved from demolition by the St. Clair Historical Society.
  • Emma Kunz' family lived in it for 80 years. Emma lived there for 77 years and was the last resident.
  • Tours are usually done by appointment.

602 Fulton St., BELLEVILLE, IL, 62220
Cake artist: David Ottinger

Official website (from the St. Clair Historical Society)

UPDATE (8/24/2016): The cake is still there.

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