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Daily Journal
     January 30, 2020      #23-30 KDJ
 
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The house at 1042 E. Court St., Kankakee, now has landmark status, which entitles the owner to a tax incentive in exchange for renovations.

Daily Journal/David Giuliani

Court Street house gains landmark status 

By David Giuliani
dgiuliani@daily-journal.com


KANKAKEE — At one time, the two-story residence at 1042 E. Court St., Kankakee, was one of the city’s grand homes.

Built in 1879, the house consisted of 10 rooms, including two living rooms, a dining room and a kitchen.

In 1893, attorney Daniel Paddock remodeled the home, adding a library, among other things.

This week, the Kankakee County Board approved the house as a Kankakee County landmark.

The designation was arranged by the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission, which said the Italianate-style building has the distinctive characteristics of the 1800s.

“It’s one of the earliest styles of architecture in Kankakee,” said Mardene Hinton, who serves on the commission. “(Daniel Paddock) was 1-year-old when he came to Kankakee in the 1850s, one of the first settlers in Kankakee.”

His father, John Paddock, also an attorney, died in 1863 in a swamp fever epidemic while fighting for the Union.

Daniel Paddock was Kankakee County state’s attorney in the late 1870s and 1880s. He was elected to the state legislature in 1883, serving three terms, according to the commission.

Paddock died in 1905, and his wife died in 1914. The house remained in the hands of the seven Paddock daughters until 1946. The house was then sold to Bernie Stevens, of Limestone Township, who converted the house into five apartments, eliminating most of the original interior features, according to the commission. The original staircase, library bookcases and fireplace remained.

In more recent years, the house’s first floor was occupied by Malmer Insurance.

Now, Iva Martenez occupies the house and requested the commission help her apply for landmark status for the house, Hinton said. The house is worth about $80,000, according to the county assessor’s records. It’s the house on Court Street with the lemonade stand out front.

“People like to search our yard and look for historic pieces,” Martenez said in an interview.

Most recently, a brass compact was found. Inside the home, Martenez has photographs of what the home looked like before it suffered not one, but two fires, and drawings of Paddock himself.

The landmark status will allow the house’s assessed value for taxes to be frozen for eight years, which is contingent on renovations by the owner, Hinton said. With the landmark status, the house cannot be demolished.

“It’s a very historical house. It needs attention, but we don’t want it torn down,” Hinton said.

The commission, she said, must approve changes to the building.

“They have to come to us for a certificate of appropriateness. We wouldn’t let them paint the house pink, for instance. We want the structure and detail of the house to remain the same,” Hinton said.

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