In 1937, after his children were grown, Nick Engelbert began to build an elaborate arched porch of concrete around the front entrance of his farmhouse, ultimately covering every inch of the outside surface of the house with concrete inlaid with shards of china, glass, beads, buttons, and sea shells. Over the next 15 years, Nick created more than 40 concrete sculptures in his yard, combining patriotic themes with imagery from history, fairy tales, mythology and his own imagination. At the age of 70, no longer able to make sculptures, he turned to painting, producing over 200 oils before his death in 1962.
The Grandview site is now owned and operated by the Pecatonica Educational Charitable (PEC) Foundation, Inc. Many of the statues have been restored or recreated. The house, now a museum, contains many Engelbert artifacts, family memorabilia, and copies of Nick’s paintings.
Find out more on the Grandview website.
Excerpt and photos from the Grandview website.