Locals coming from downtown Belleville and driving to the North Jackson Street might have seen a glimpse of the three-story home at 109 East D Street. The house was originally built in 1854 by Lucien Cabanne with only two stories and it was made entirely of bricks. In 1863, it was bought by Felicity Ogle and the third story was added. This is because Felicity and her husband, Joseph Ogle, have 11 kids.
Despite the increasing number of single house new project in the area, the house is the most prominent located at the northern part of the town. According to Robert Brunkow, a local historian, this is the original plan of Cabanne all along – for his house to be recognized.In a statement written in a local newpaper, Brunkow described the property to be the most tasteful and a private residence that exudes elegance.
It was many decades ago. Currently, the house’s exterior did not betray the fact that the interior of the house is in chaos. It has been eight years since it has been lived in. It was 1976 when it was converted to an apartment house by the then owner, Bud Zipfel. Zipfel, along with Jackie Elmore who is his business manager, have already entered retirement but they do not know what to do with the property.
There is no one in the market showing interest to purchase the property and demolition can be complicated as it is located in the Hexenbukel Historic District. The rooms used to be rental sleeping room until Zipfel transformed them into an apartment with eight units.
Eight years ago, the boiler broke down and the tenants were moved into new apartments. Now, they are waiting for news as to what to do with the property since no one is interested to but it. They have already approached the city for demolition but they were asked to have an audience with the historic preservation commission.
As much as they want to have a single house new project with the existing house, it would be hard to do so but it could be remodeled as a historic apartment if anyone is willing to take it on.