William Vandenberg House

2520 Union Street

Built in 1890

Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown


This home was constructed by prominent local builder William Vandenberg for himself and his wife Anna. Vandenberg’s skillful use of fishscale shingles, fanwork and other ornament shows that he possessed a unique understanding of Queen Anne architecture, of which this house is an excellent example.


In 1892, the house was sold to Nelson Cool, a local coal dealer who was a Village Trustee and served on the city’s first Park Board in 1912. Cool was also a member of the Cook County Board of Education and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board, serving for over a decade as a Cook County Commissioner.


In 1908, the home sold to Cool’s daughter Harriet Borman and her husband George, who served as Village Attorney. He was also a Director of the Commercial Bank, founded in 1896, which in 1925 became known as the First National Bank of Blue Island.


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