5300 Main Street
Blacksmith and ironworker, James William Sucher, erected this humble brick building in 1875 as his smithy. James and his father, Phillip, established the business in 1854. This is the oldest brick building in Downers Grove and has walls one foot thick. The bricks were pressed most likely in the Excelsior Pressed Brick Factory that opened in 1872 at Gregg’s Station (located east of Fairview Avenue and south of the railroad).
In 1916, Sucher sold the building to another blacksmith, Harry O. Sutter, who shod horses and sharpened cultivator shovels in it until 1924. Sutter was in a perfect position to witness the transition from horses to automobiles and in reaction, opened the community’s first Standard Service Station across the street in 1923. He closed his smithy the following year.
Mrs. Sutter sold the building in 1975 to the architectural firm Richard Marker Associates, which remodeled it for its offices by adding a second floor, office suites, and sky-lights. The original half-moon windows in the gables were enlarged to full circles and fitted with plexiglass bubbles.