Simon and Minnie Grant House (1928)
Early records indicate that George R. Judd owned the property this house sits on, as well as the lots east and west of it. Ownership was transferred to John and Julia Rodgers about 1887. In 1894, a house and part of the land was sold to Charles Freeman, but the Rodgers retained ownership of the remaining lot. George Smith, who owned the property by 1910, split the lot in two by 1920. Prior to this house’s construction a garage sat here; it was turned and relocated to the northeast corner of the lot. It remains there today as the only shared garage in the City of Racine.

This Italian Renaissance house, less common than the Craftsman and Tudor homes of the time period, was architect-designed. This house has a symmetrical front facade, a low-pitched hipped roof with wide overhanging eaves, and a centered dormer. It features a striking decorative stone arch, recessed front entrance, and round arched, front-facing first-story windows. The building permit for this house was issued in May 1928 to Simon and Minnie Grant. The house was built by Fred Monefeldt, a Danish
carpenter, for $11,500.

Simon Grant was born Jacker Gricewsky in 1886 in Elisavetgrad, Russia. He arrived in the United States in 1906 and became a United States citizen in 1921. His wife, Minnie Gorsky, immigrated from Russia in 1907. The Grant and Gorsky families made their living in the furniture business. Simon opened Simon’s Upholstering Co. at 713 Center Street, which in the 1930s became Warehouse Furniture. At the time of his death in 1957 he was Vice-President of Grant Furniture. Minnie’s brother, Abraham Gorsky, sold used furniture on Washington Avenue, and Samuel, Simon’s older brother, founded Grant Furniture in 1909. The Grant and Gorsky families were close-knit. When Minnie arrived in Racine, she lived with her sister, Kate and brother-in-law, Samuel Grant. After Samuel’s death, Kate resided here with Simon and Minnie. Minnie’s brother, Louis, married Simon’s sister Bertha and worked as a furniture salesman.

In 1947, the Grants sold this property to Peter Voorlas, founder of Voorlas Manufacturing Company and the Electrical Manufacturing Co, which produced fractional horsepower motors. Peter and his wife, Athena, resided here until 1966 when the house was sold to Peter’s sister, Faye Kappas, and her husband Chris. In 1965, Chris joined Voorlas Manufacturing as President. By 1971 he had formed his own company, Lake Electric Motors. An avid golfer, he designed and held patents for many motorized items, including a detachable power unit for a golf bag cart. 

Tom and Irene Creecy have called this home since 1978. Their appreciation of quality craftsmanship and commitment to preserving this piece of Racine history are evident throughout their home. Tom was employed by Case Company, but in 1986 he started RPS Corp., a manufacturer of industrial and commercial floor sweepers and scrubbers, branded as Factory Cat and Tomcat.