WOODSTOCK – Curb appeal drew Peter and Karen Bucchianeri to the home at 524 Clay St. A vintage interior touched by modern influence ensured their purchase in 2007.
But its the house's history that has kept the couple's attention since.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., the two will welcome the community to their home – now termed the George Burger Residence – as it's plaqued by the McHenry County Historical Society. The day is a culmination of five years of off-and-on research that traced the home to 1901, and to a well-known community man named George Burger.
Karen Bucchianeri's interest piqued after a neighbor mentioned a past resident of the Queen Anne style home. Bucchianeri started looking through records – old phone directories, the U.S. Census, and past records of land ownership, among others.
She found a newspaper clipping from late 1901 that showed Burger's new home. He'd purchased the land in October 1900. The clipping also discussed Burger's place in the community.
"He was an alderman, on the board of education," Bucchianeri said. "You can tell by looking at the house that whoever built this house, they may not have been the governor, but they were somebody."
The Bucchianeris presented their findings to the McHenry County Historical Society, which approved the plaque.
The historical society considers age, historical significance, architectural significance, conservation and maintenance when considering a plaquing.
"It's a really picturesque Queen Anne style home," said Grace Moline, historic sites chairperson for the historical society.
The residence was used as a multi-family dwelling until the mid-2000s, when a couple purchased it with thoughts of flipping it once construction was complete. They preserved much of the original elements before selling to the Bucchianeris, who have continued preservation efforts.
"Looking at all that's been done to bring it back to a single-family dwelling, it was amazing how much work went into it," Moline said.
Note to readers: this story has been changed to reflect the correct date of the plaquing. The Northwest Herald regrets the error.