Restoration of historic home nears completion

April 20, 2019

STERLING – Work continues on the restoration of an historic home in the city’s business district.

Hibbard Builders Inc. has taken on the remainder of the renovations at the Judge James E. McPherran home at 601 W. Third St. They were started by the Dillon Foundation, which bought the 140-year-old Italianate beauty nearly 30 years ago. It was commissioned by McPherran in 1878.

“The Dillon Foundation did a lot of the exterior renovations and significant work on the interior, and they did a really good job,” said Scott Hibbard, owner of Hibbard Builders.

The Dillon Foundation sold the property last August to Loos 1052 LLC, managed by Thomas Loos. Loos is owner and president of Action Plumbing Co. in West Chicago. Loos is a sixth-generation plumber. His great-great-great-grandfather founded John G. Loos & Sons plumbing in 1890, in Sterling.

Hibbard’s business and that of McCloud & Associates Architects moved their offices into the house on Sept. 29.

Hibbard specializes in the restoration of historic homes. One of his showcase projects is the former home of Dr. Moses Royer, one of Sterling’s first doctors. He started working on that home at 401 E. Second St. in 2011 and finished it 5 years ago.

A leaky roof at the Royer home, another red brick Italianate, had brought mold and the structure had been written off by many as unsalvageable. But Hibbard and wife, Nikki, took on the challenge. They spent many hours looking at old photos of the home to make the renovations as historically accurate as possible. They scoured the internet and huge warehouses looking for obscure accent items, such as the perfect pocket doors.

Hibbard hopes to finish up soon with the McPherran home.

“We’re doing the exterior doors now and finishing up a few things inside,” he said.

The Dillon Foundation sold the property for $69,000.