The historic American building survey (HABS) began during the Great Depression, in December 1933, when Charles E Peterson of the National Park Service submitted a proposal for a thousand out of work architects to spend 10 weeks documenting America's antique buildings. HABS became a permanent program of the National Park Service in 1934 and was formally authorized by Congress as part of the historic sites act of 1935 ongoing programs. It has recorded America's built environment with more than 581,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, written histories, and original field notes for more than 43,000 historic structures and sites.

Creation of the program was motivated primarily by the perceived need to mitigate the negative effects upon our history and culture of rapidly vanishing architectural resources. At the same time, important early preservation initiatives were just getting underway, such as restoration of the colonial capital at Williamsburg and the development within the National Park Service (NPS) of historical parks and National Historic Sites. As a national survey, the HABS collection is intended to represent "a complete resume of the builder's art." Thus, the building selection ranges in type and style from the monumental and architect-designed to the utilitarian and vernacular, including a sampling of our nation's vast array of regionally and ethnically derived building traditions.
A. B. Hinsdell House, 443 East Chicago Street was built c. 1845 and
is included in the HABS survey

The home was on the Historic Elgin House Tour in 1985 and 1996. The following comes from the House Tour booklet:

A. B. Hinsdell began his years in Elgin Township as a farmer. In the 1850s he bought wagons and he and son Oliver hauled building supplies and grain from Chicago to Elgin. He was a leading force in the establishment of Elgin Academy and Hinsdell Street was named for him. At some point in the 20th century the house was converted to the Restville House Convalescent home. In 1966 it was brought back to a single-family home . The most unique feature of the home is a spectacular unsupported circular staircase along the curved wall in the square entry hall. This greets you as you enter the front door. There is an elegant carved frieze on the stringer that follows the curved stairs. Below is the picture in the HABS survey of the staircase.

Below are the other pictures and drawings of the house included in HABS. There is a majestic oak tree on the east lawn that is approximately 500 years old. Perhaps that tree, already mature and attractive, is the reason Hinsdell chose this spot for his home.