In 1913, a caption from an edition of The Craftsman described a bedroom in the Mighell House as, “finished in blue, gray and dull silver; window frames with wide views of the river and valley for miles around.” The elegant home, known today as the Stone House at the Plum Landing Retirement Community in Aurora, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary tomorrow and Saturday with an open house.
Lee Mighell, with the help of local architects Worst & Shepardson and associate architect Frank Packard, built the home in 1911. The Mighell family lived in the home until 1951. It was later incorporated into the non-profit retirement community, Plum Landing, funded by the Mighell family in the 1960s.
The home is described by Aurora city Historic Preservation intern Charlie Wilkins as exemplifying the main ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. The black mortar brick give the home an almost medieval, if not romantic, style. The windows were made with hand-hewn oak timbers, taken from an old barn that had stood on the property for 75 years, and the original roof was a dull red tile.
As Wilkins said, “The home’s construction technique suggests the work of a small group of skilled builders, not the work of highly efficient, industrial contractors. Wilkins continues, “It is important to remember that the Arts and Crafts Movement was often times opposed to the forces of industrialization.”
The first floor of the Stone House is currently used for private parties and gatherings by both Plum Landing residents and the public. The open house celebrating this historic gem will take place on Friday and Saturday between 2 p.m. and 4p.m., at 495 N. Lake Street in Aurora.