The Magic House (George Lane Edwards House), 516 S. Kirkwood Rd., Kirkwood, 1901
The land on which the Magic House sits was part of the estate of J.O. Sturdy. The estate was subdivided into 18 individual lots. In 1901 Florence Noble Edwards purchased a tract of this land from a previous owner. She was the wife of George Lane Edwards, a son of A.G. Edwards and grandson of Ninian Edwards, the first territorial governor of Illinois, for whom Edwardsville is named. Albert Gallatin Edwards moved to Kirkwood in 1864 and became one of the first trustees of the newly incorporated town the following year, as well as a founding director of the Kirkwood School Board. George Lane Edwards was born in Kirkwood in 1869 and married there in 1892, and when the brokerage firm of A.G. Edwards and Sons was incorporated in the latter year he became the first president. He was the director of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in 1904 and died unexpectedly died in 1919.
The house was probably built in 1901. And by 1904 it, other real-estate, stocks and securities were put into a trust for Mrs. Edwards and their children. Mrs. Edwards kept the house throughout her lifetime, but never returned to live in it after her husband’s death. The trustees encouraged the sale of the property in 1923 to Katherine M. Schmick whose husband was George M. Schmick who, in 1927, served on Kirkwood’s first Zoning Commission. The property was purchased by the Kirkwood School Board in 1954 and was remodeled by the architectural firm of William B. Ittner for use as administrative offices. The school board sold the property to Riviera Investment Corporation in 1975, and plans for the magic house were made in 1977.