Lightning Strike Guts Historical Elgin Home

May 14, 2010

The Christian Wuestenfeld mansion in Elgin before ---

Today’s forecast is sunny, but that wasn’t the case yesterday, when some communities got more rain than they do the entire month of May. With that rain came lightning, and that lightning apparently struck a mansion in Elgin, causing a fire and destroying the home.

The Christian Wuestenfeld House, located at 552 East Chicago Street in northwest suburban Elgin, was built in 1891 for a man who worked for Thomas Edison. The mansion, which is on Elgin’s historic registry, was a worn-down apartment building when it was purchased for $132,000 in 1996 by artist Daniel Skaggs, 48, who spent 14 years and more than $200,000 rehabbing the Flemish Renaissance-style dwelling.

- and after the lightning strike.-----Photo courtesy of the Tribune.

The home had five bedrooms, two kitchens, an elaborate staircase that ran through the center of the home and a catstep roof, which resembled a castle wall.

The local fire marshal believes lightning struck around 2 a.m. Thursday morning. Skaggs also lost all his artwork in the blaze, including sculptures, paintings and stenciling, as well as period fixtures, inlaid tiles and restored wood. Luckily, no one was hurt in the blaze.


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