William Buenger House

12908 Elm Street

Built in 1928

Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown


This home, built for William and Elizabeth Buenger, was designed by their daughter, Elsa Buenger, who was inspired by the tours she made through Europe while studying there. The design is a dramatic set piece for European archetypes that at the same time presents a deeply comforting and familiar sense of domesticity. An arched entryway announces the home’s entrance, and this element is repeated in the fenestration (the home’s windows and their layout), which is carefully balanced across the front facade. Scrolling columns add a touch of eclecticism to the design.  The steeply pitched, clay tiled cross gabled roofs add a stately elegance.


The home was later purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Leo Nelson. Mrs. Nelson was the daughter of Blue Island’s first mayor, John L. Zacharias.


The house is a picturesque example of the many elegant homes built on property that was once part of the estate of Walter P. Roche.


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