Victor, Paul F., Sr. Papers, 1918-2015 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of personal and business papers of Paul F. Victor Sr., a founder of the Victor Manufacturing and Gasket Company. The papers primarily document the construction and history of the Victor family homes in River Forest, Illinois, including one designed by renowned architect Harry F. Robinson. The collection includes blueprints, layout designs, drawings, financial records, correspondence, photographs, and other materials. The collection also includes materials on attempts to renovate and preserve one of the family homes, as well as some personal and professional papers of Paul F. Victor Sr.
Paul Frank Victor Sr. was born as Paul Frank Wiktorowicz in 1885. His family's surname changed from Wiktorowicz to Victor in 1900. In 1909, Paul and his four brothers founded the Victor Manufacturing and Gasket Company in Chicago, Illinois. Paul would serve as the company's secretary and treasurer. As a result of the business's success, Paul decided to build a new home at 930 Ashland Avenue in River Forest, Illinois. The home was designed by architect Harry F. Robinson. Paul F. Victor Sr., his wife Helen, and their three children lived in the home from 1920 through 1929. In April 1929, Paul Sr. sold the home to the Mars family, and the Victors moved to a home located at 1345 Park Avenue. Paul F. Victor Sr. died January 14, 1954.
The Victor family maintained an interest in the house at 930 Ashland, gathering materials and talking with others, including the descendants of Harry F. Robinson, to preserve its history. Despite the family's efforts to ensure the preservation of the home as a historic structure in River Forest, Avra Properties purchased the property in 2014 and demolished the house the following year.
The collection is arranged into three series. The first series, Construction of Victor Residences, contains materials relating to the original construction of the two homes that the Victors owned in River Forest. These include blueprints and architectural drawings, financial records, and materials concerning furniture and utilities in the homes. The second series, Renovation and Preservation Efforts, concerns renovation work that one of these houses, 930 Ashland, underwent in 2002, and the efforts of the family to prevent the home's demolition in 2014 and 2015. This series includes photographs of the house and correspondence concerning the demolition plans. The third series, Personal and Professional Materials, includes materials from the life of Paul F. Victor Sr., such as financial records, business correspondence, and family photographs.
Digital materials include digital photographs, PDFs of correspondence from 2015, an Economist article from 1918, a building permit dated to 1919, and notes concerning the family residence.
This collection was donated to the Library by Paul F. Victor Sr.'s grandchildren, Madeline McMenamin, Louise Victor, Paul F. Victor III, and Helen Paul, in 2018.
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