Architect: Unknown Year Built: 1856 Architectural Style: Italianate / Side Hall Plan
Built in 1856, 311 W. Elm, known as the William Park Residence, is a two story, vernacular adaptation of the Italianate style with a side hall plan. The Italianate style dominated American houses constructed between 1850 and 1880.
The painted, white brick house has a simple, low hipped roof and a wide overhanging cornice of exposed square post rafters with a Doric entablature. Façade opening are three ranked, typical of the Italianate simple hip roofed sub-type, with an asymmetrically placed front door. The front door is surrounded by simple, rectangular side lights and a transom. The windows of the house are similarly tall, thin, double-hung windows. Second floor windows are topped with flat, decorative hoods.
A prominent feature is the one-story exterior wrap-around porch along the front and east façades. The porch, similar to the main house, has a low-pitched hip roof. A simple, Classical entablature, similar to the cornice of the house is found below the roof line of the front porch. Round Classical columns of the Doric order support the porch entablature. As the porch wraps around the building, it is enclosed along the full depth of the main house, to form a verandah with an independent glazed entrance way.
William Park, an key figured in the early industrial development of Urbana, bought this land in 1856 and lived there through the 1880's. Park built and owned the first local steam saw and grist mill in 1850. His other holdings included the local woolen mills and the Urbana Street Railway.