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The Cutest Little House in Evanston

2225 Noyes St., Evanston

2225 Noyes St., Evanston, IL 60201

Are you thinking of buying a condo but can’t stand the thought of living in a high rise or vanilla box condo with no outdoor space? Need a pet friendly place for you and Rover? Then this adorable little house might be for you.

This one-bedroom home at 2225 Noyes Street in NW Evanston is 616 square feet of pure charm, plus plenty of outdoor space, including a nice yard and brick patio  It’s one of the original Sears Roebuck catalog house, constructed in 1917 from ready-to-assemble pieces. It was certainly a quality product, as it’s solid as a rock despite being almost 100 years old.

1917 Sears Roebuck catalog house

1917 Sears Roebuck catalog house

Although it’s small, the house has everything you need: a recently updated kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a “great room” for dining, watching TV and entertaining. In warm weather you can enjoy the screened porch overlooking the backyard and patio. The basement has plenty of room for laundry and storage, and comes with a heated greenhouse as an added bonus for plant lovers.

The home is being offered at $310,000. You can go here for more info. Or give us a call at 847-881-6657 if you’d like to see it.

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City and Suburbs: The Best of Both Worlds at 724 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe

If you are looking for a cookie-cutter house on a suburban cul de sac, this is not the house for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a home that allows you to combine the advantages of in-town living with the benefits of the North Shore lifestyle, the house at 724 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe might just fill the bill.

You can enjoy living in a spacious 11 room home with a private patio and back yard in an area with great schools. But you can also walk out your front door and be just steps from Starbucks, the playground, shops, restaurants and the Metra. In fact, you can get downtown faster from here than you can if you lived in Roscoe Village!

The historically significant residence at 724 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe was originally built as the headquarters for the Chicago Telephone Company in 1908. It was expanded in 1920 when Illinois Bell was formed through a merger of Chicago Telephone and Central Union Telephone Company. The home began as a small brick one-story building and was enlarged in 1927 to the two-story, stucco-faced residence that you see today. During World War II the home was designated as a bomb shelter.

Over the years it has been substantially updated, with a newer kitchen that opens to a family room with built-ins and fireplace. The living and dining rooms with their dramatic fourteen foot ceilings, are perfect for entertaining.

While the original master suite and two other family bedrooms are on the main floor, the piece de resistance of this home is the newer loft-like master suite on the second floor, with doors opening to a lovely roof-top deck that overlooks the garden.

There is a two-car garage plus five outdoor parking spaces for visitors or clients; or those spaces could be rented to neighboring businesses, providing additional monthly income.

The large basement has media room, exercise room, bedroom and full bath, sauna, workshop and storage.

If you have thought about moving to the suburbs but feel ambivalent about leaving the convenience and walk-ability of the city, you should come see this home. You could not find a more convenient location within steps of town, train, shopping and dining.

Watch this video and get a better feel for the home. You can see more photos here. If you would like more information about 724 Vernon Avenue (or any other North Shore home), please give us a call at 847-881-6657. We’d be happy to help you!

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top teams in the area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please contact us at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

 

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Historic Victorian House in Wilmette

Historic Victorian Home

If you like houses with history, this vintage Victorian home at 519 Forest Avenue in Wilmette could be the one for you.

One of the oldest existing homes in the village, this home was designed by Dwight Perkins (who designed the Lion House at Lincoln Park Zoo, among other things) and built in 1895 for the Knox family.

It sits on a large 100 x 190 foot lot that is just a short walk to the beach. The house has a wrap around porch with two porch swings. It’s one of the only remaining homes with a turret. Although it is Victorian in style, the inside shows some Prairie influences. Some parts of the house have been updated (kitchen and master) but oodles of original details remain, including gorgeous woodwork, five fireplaces and a second floor library with a decorative ceiling motif.

Listed for $1,507,000 the home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. A stairway in the turret leads up to a large master on the third floor with treetop views.

You can see more photos of the home here. If you would like to see it in person, give us a call. We’d love to show it to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top teams in the area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please contact us at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

 

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Historic Wilmette Farmhouse

832 Chilton Lane, WilmetteWhen this three bedroom house at 832 Chilton Lane in Wilmette goes on the market later this week it’s going to go quickly. Here’s why it’s such a great buy:

  • It’s very well-priced at $629,000.
  • It has loads of vintage charm and hardwood floors throughout.
  • The kitchen and baths have been recently updated.
  • It’s on a double-lot: 111′ x 159′ x 110′ x 153′
  • It’s on a cul de sac street just a quick walk to Romona Elementary School

Built in 1920, we’re told this was the original farmhouse for the surrounding in this area. We’ll be having an open house this Sunday,  April 29 from 12:00 to 3:00 so stop by!

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top teams in our area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please contact us at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

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Remembering Martin Luther King’s Speech in Winnetka

Martin Luther King plaque in WinnetkaA lot of people think that, because Winnetka is an affluent and mostly white suburb, that it is not a very progressive community.

So I wonder how many people know that Winnetka was the site of the first-ever civil rights rally in an all-white suburb and that Martin Luther King spoke here before a crowd of more than 8000 supporters in the summer of 1965.

Even most Winnetkans under the age of 60 didn’t know about the part their town played in the civil rights movement until a school teacher named Cecilia Gigiolio and her class raised the money to erect a monument to commemorate this historic event on its 40th anniversary.

The monument was placed in the southwest corner of the Green, which is now known as “King’s Corner.” Interestingly, despite the fact that Dr. King spent extensive periods of time in Chicago working on civil rights issues, the monument on the Village Green of Winnetka is the only monument to this great man in the whole Chicago area.

Why did King come to Winnetka, of all places, to hold a civil rights rally? Here’s a little background: Back in the early 60′s a group of young North Shore mothers were concerned that their children were growing up in a community that lacked diversity. At that time housing discrimination was common, as were the real estate practices of steering and blockbusting (which thankfully are now illegal). These women teamed up with local clergy and community Monument to Martin Luther King on Winnetka's Village Greenleaders to organize the North Shore Summer Project. They surveyed residents to determine their attitudes towards opening their community to home buyers who were not screened on the basis of color or religion. As part of their effort to end housing discrimination, they invited Dr. King to speak.

King arrived in Winnetka late on the afternoon of July 25 after speaking at five other rallies in Chicago. The estimated crowd of eight to ten thousand people is the biggest gathering ever on the Village Green, and it was a peaceful group who were mostly supporters of King. As part of his speech he spoke the now famous words: “We must now live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Today marks the 46th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech on the Village Green of Winnetka.

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Spring Housewalks on the North Shore

International Style House in Wilmette by George Fred KeckThere are two North Shore housewalks rapidly approaching (one today, in fact):

Wilmette Historical Society Housewalk

Sunday, May 15 from 1:00-6:00 pm
Tickets: $50 for members and $60 for non-members
Visit www.wilmettehistory.org to purchase tickets.

“Architecture through the Decades” showcases four homes designed by innovative and nationally recognized architects. Built between 1890 and 1950, they demonstrate how housing design changed over the first few decades of the twentieth century:

  • 1890′s American Foursquare designed by George Maher
  • 1920′s Spanish Revival by Alfred Alschuler
  • 1930′s International Style by George Fred Keck
  • 1950′s Modern by Harry Weese

Here’s a little context for what you’ll be seeing: the American Foursquare style (sometimes called the “Prairie Box” and popular from the 1890′s to the 1930′s) was a reaction to the ornate elements of the Victorian style that was popular in the latter half of the 19th century. It is characteristically plain, incorporating elements of the Prairie and Craftsman styles. Typical of the style is a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry and Craftsman style woodwork. The house by George Maher also features large single-pane windows and beautiful art glass.

The Spanish revival house at 1000 Chestnut Avenue was part of the retrospective craze that took place following World War I.  The house had suffered from years of neglect and was slated to be torn down until the current owners purchased it and began its restoration. The home was the recipient of a special Preservation Excellence Award in 2010.

In the 1930′s traditional styles were increasingly rejected in favor of the International Style that was popular in Europe. The Keck house was one of the first to use plate glass in its design. You can see it in the picture above as it forms a dramatic column that encloses a spiral staircase.

The fourth and final house on the tour showcases Harry Weese’s emphasis on functional, efficient spaces, such as the counter back-splash in the kitchen that can be folded down to create a buffet in the adjoining dining room.

Winnetka Women’s Club Housewalk

Wednesday, May 18 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tickets: $60 for the tour and $35 for lunch at Michigan Shores Club
Order your tickets here and pick them up at the Women’s Club (485 Maple St., Winnetka)

1313 Ridge Rd, Wilmette“Lifestyles” presents five beautifully decorated homes of differing architectural styles, including:

  • a French Provincial built in 1937
  • a 1920′s Tudor
  • a new Tudor style custom home
  • a Italian Villa with a contemporary interior

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Howard Park in Wilmette

Howard Park towerHave you ever driven down 17th Street in Wilmette and wondered what that big cupola thing was sticking up in in Howard Park?

When you live somewhere long enough you stop noticing things. You just take them for granted.  But that cupola is part of Wilmette’s history. It’s the cupola from Howard School, which was one of the village’s grade schools from 1924 to 1979. The Howard School did not stand on the site where the cupola is. It was over on Ridge Rd. just west of the park, where the police station parking lot is now.

The school was torn down in 1982 and the tower was moved to the park where Spencer Ave. runs into 17th. The park is 8.7 acres with two ball fields where girls’ and adult softball is played in the spring and summer.

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Another Movie Role for Wilmette?

Devil in the White CityFilm producer and North Shore native, Michael Shamberg, must look for opportunities to get back to his old hometown. Shamberg, who is in Chicago shooting the movieContagion, will be back later to film “Devil in the White City”, starring Leonardo di Caprio.

Leonardo di CaprioBest selling non-fiction book, Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, details the story of the serial killer, H.H. Holmes, who designed and opened a “murder castle” in preparation for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Called the World’s Fair Hotel, the “murder castle” housed a gas chamber, crematorium and dissecting table. It was the grisly scene of between 27 and 200 murders, mostly of single, young women, who were lured to their deaths by the charismatic but mad pharmacist.

Holmes (whose real name was Herman W. Mudgett) was born in 1860 in New Hampshire. He moved to Chicago in 1885 and worked as a pharmacist in Englewood. Later he opened an office in Wilmette, posing as an inventor. Although he was already married at the time, he wed Myrtle Belknap, a Wilmette girl whose father was a wealthy businessman.  He built a Queen Anne house at 726 11th St. (then called John St.) with twin turrets on either side. According to an exhibit at the Wilmette Historical Museum, he designed the house as a duplex so his in-laws could live on one side and he and his wife and child could live on the other. After his execution in 1896, the house was seized and auctioned to pay for liens against the property. From the 1920′s on it was used as a boarding house known as the “Wilmette Inn” and “Wilmette Apartments”.

Will scenes from the movie be filmed here in Wilmette? Shooting locations haven’t been selected yet, but my guess is probably not, since Holmes’ house was torn down to make way for construction of townhouses, so no backdrop exists for this part of his life story.

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North Shore Haunts: Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery main entranceOn the southernmost edge of Evanston lies Calvary Cemetery, a large Catholic cemetery first established in 1859. The main entrance to the cemetery is a pair of massive limestone gates designed by architect James Egan. There are some well-known locals buried here, including Charles Comisky (founder of the White Sox and the American League), John M. Smythe (furniture maker), Edward Kelly (former Chicago mayor) and Edward Hines (lumber giant).  But the most interesting thing about the cemetery may be one of its less earthly inhabitants.

For twenty years during the 40′s and 50′s an apparition would appear nightly to drivers along Sheridan Road. Thousands of stunned motorists reported seeing a ghost climb out of the lake and over the rocks, then stagger across the road dodging traffic to the cemetery entrance, where he would pace back and forth in front of the closed gates. Speculation at the time was that the ghost was a World War II airman who had crashed into the lake during a training exercise and his body never recovered.

Finally, in 1960, the gates were inadvertently left open one night, which allowed the ghost to enter and find himself a permanent resting place. After that night he was never seen again.

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North Shore Haunts: The Schweppe Mansion

Schweppe Mansion in Lake Forest, ILNot long ago I included the Schweppe Mansion in my post about the top ten priciest properties for sale on the North Shore.

What I didn’t mention is that the Lake Forest home was, at one time, reputed to be haunted. With Halloween right around the corner, it seemed like the time to tell its spooky story. Here’s the background: The house was built in 1917 by John G. Shedd (president of Marshall Field and Company and founder of the Shedd Aquarium) as a wedding gift for his daughter, Laura, upon her marriage to Charles Schweppe. But Laura died in 1937, leaving a lonely and tormented Charles to roam the 33,000 sq. ft. mansion for the next four years. Charles ultimately killed himself with a bullet to the head, and the house stood empty for the next 47 years.

Although ghosts have never actually been sighted here, rumors of Charles’ ghost haunting the master bedroom spread throughout the area. and the abandoned mansion had all the makings of a haunted house, especially some its more bizarre features. One was a lone window overlooking the driveway, which never needed cleaning, even when the rest of the house was covered in dirt and grime. The other strange feature , discovered by Donna Desplenter when she bought the house in the 1980s, was the “doorway to hell”, an entryway in the basement that led only to narrow, black corridors turning into other dark, winding passageways, leading only to dead-ends and desolate rooms.

The house was finally purchased and completely renovated and restored. No paranormal activity has been reported for many years. The house is for sale now and can be yours for a mere $15,000,000.

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