​The Charles and Ora Ryba House (ca.1914)
​This house sits on part of the two-block area known as the Bullerdick subdivision.  Henry Bullerdick came from Bavaria Germany in 1868 and purchased a parcel of land, still considered wilderness, to build his house now known as 1718 North Main Street.  By 1914, when this house was built just two doors north of Henry Bullerdick's house, Racine had become a thriving, industrial city.  Only three families have lived in this house. Charles and Ora Ryba built this Craftsman bungalow style house just a block from the house of his parents.  Charles was Racine City Clerk, and Ora was a city librarian and a pianist.  Records indicate that 10 years later Charles and Ora moved to 1640 North Main Street, the home of Charles' mother, Anna.
That same year, Otto and Edith Jandl made this house their home and lived here for the next forty-one years.  Otto operated a real estate and insurance company originated by his father, W. J. Jandl.  His father emigrated from Bohemia to Racine in 1881, forming the Cesko-Kelnicky, or Bohemian Workingman's Building and Loan Association, in 1910.  In 1924, the name was changed to Belle City Savings and Loan Association, located at 1660 Douglas Avenue.  Otto was well known as a local athlete.  He played baseball and softball during high school, college, and his military career, and later played for several local teams.  He was a member of the Racine All-Stars softball team when it defeated Chicago for the World's softball title.
Kenneth and Nancy Wuerker purchased this house in 1967, giving them the honor of caring for and living here for the longest period of time.  Kenneth worked for the Marcus Corporation for many years as a manager and projectionist. Nancy worked for the U.S. Department of Labor on the Consumer Price Index for 30 years from a home office. She also hosted youth activities and Bible classes in this house. Kenneth and Nancy had two sons who grew up in this home.  The house, in a prime location for viewing Racine’s 4th of July parade, has allowed many guests to celebrate Independence Day.
The Craftsman bungalow style of architecture developed in California around 1903. Pattern books were published with plans and building specifications for local carpenters to use.  The Craftsman bungalow provided affordable, single family modern housing through the 1920s for much of America.  The assessed value of this house when it was built was $1,000, a mid-range assessment of contemporary houses in this neighborhood.
Preservation Racine is grateful to Kenneth and Nancy Wuerker for sharing their truly American house with us today.