Architect: Unknown Year Built: 1874 Architectural Style: Italianate
505 W. Main, known is the Griggs House, is a simple Italianate style house that was built in 1874. The house is two stories and is constructed of brick. The overall form of the house consists of a square base topped with a low-pitched gable roof with an ornate cornice. Intricate wood brackets supported the wide overhanging eaves of the ornate cream colored cornice. The front façade of the house is symmetrical and has a full-width single-story front porch with square wood decorative columns with beveled corners topped with a delicate carved wooden capital and an ornate wood balustrade. An upside down fleur de lie is carved into the cornice of the porch. The windows are tall, narrow, segmental-arched double-hung windows that are divided into four panes. The window sashes consist of two panes each. The windows are "hooded" with a brick segmental arch crown. One of the windows on the main first story of the main façade is replaced with the entry door, which is also topped with a segmental arched hood. Some other small details of the house include a small round window on the west façade, the gable roof line at the rear of the house is lowered to accommodate only one story, and all of the intricate wood detailing is painted a cream color. The Griggs house is a simple, yet elegant, example of an Italianate style house.
Clark R. Griggs was born in North Adams, MA in 1824 and came to Champaign County in 1859. He settled on a farm in Philo, which developed into one of the most productive farms in the state. His hog raising skills were legendary. He was mayor of Urbana from 1866 to 1867. In 1867 he was elected to the state legislature. As a legislator, he was instrumental in persuading the legislature to locate the University of Illinois in Urbana. After the end of his term, he actively dedicated himself to the construction of the Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western Railroad, which was key in the develoment of the region. 505 W. Main was built as a wedding gift for his son, Albert C. Griggs. The house was then owned by the Rea family from 1888 until 1987. In 1979, the Griggs house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.