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Grammy Winner Howard Levy To Perform in Winnetka

Howard LevyWinnetka may be a small village but sometimes we get treated to some big talent.

That’s the case this coming Sunday, February 24th when The Howard Levy Quartet will perform at Winnetka Congregational Church’s third annual Jazz Vespers.

You may not have heard of Howard Levy, but he is probably the world’s foremost harmonica jazz virtuoso and has won two Grammy Awards for his artistry. Said Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, “Certainly no one playing jazz harmonica these days approaches the technical wizardry, stylistic breadth and improvisational creativity of Levy.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Winnetka Lakefront Estate

If someone blindfolded you and plopped you down outside this magnificent lakefront home in Winnetka, you’d swear you’d been transported to the shores of Lake Como. The Mediterranean architecture, the lakefront setting and Mariani designed landscaping can easily fool you into thinking you are at the summer residence of an Italian count. Once inside, you might think you’d landed in the Beverly Hills mansion of some celebrity. The villa has every room anyone can imagine having in their dream home, and then some. And all of them are done to the max by interior designer Alessandra Branca.

Listed for $13,900,000 it’s not the most expensive home for sale on the North Shore. Michael Jordan’s Highland Park home is still on the market for $29,000,000 and there’s another Winnetka home a little further north on Sheridan Road for $15,975,000. But this home is by far the most elegant of the three.

The home looks like it’s been there for a century but it was actually completely rebuilt from 2005 to 2007. It has eighteen rooms, including six bedrooms, each with an en suite bath,  lounge, media room, sauna, wine room, his and her offices, gym, play room and belvedere.(I had to Google that one: it means “a roofed structure, especially a small pavilion or tower on top of a building, situated so as to command a wide view.” On a clear day you can see all the way to the Sears Willis Tower from the belvedere. All of the formal rooms face the lake. The home also has a six car garage and a heated driveway.

If you’d like to see this or any of the other fine homes on the North Shore, please call us at 847-881-6657.  We’d be happy to help you!

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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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Winnetka Neighborhoods: Greeley

Greeley School: Go West, Young Man?

“Go west, young man” was advice generally attributed to Horace Greeley, a 19th century American newspaper editor and presidential candidate, and was advice followed by many who arrived in Winnetka in the 19th century. However, Greeley School was not named for him but rather for a popular Winnetka resident, Samuel Sewall Greeley.

Greeley School, an elementary school (grades K-4) located in the southeastern part of Winnetka, opened in 1912. Mr. Greeley encouraged the community to build the school in this area so that students on the east side of town did not have to cross the railroad tracks to get to school. (previously, all elementary students had attended Horace Mann School, located where the post office sits today.) Since its opening a century ago, Greeley School has been modernized many times, most recently in 2009. The school’s attendance area is bounded by Tower Road on the north, Green Bay Road on the west, Winnetka Avenue on the south and Lake Michigan on the east. Basically it covers all of east Winnetka except a small section north of Tower Rd., which is served by Hubbard Woods School.

Homes in the Greeley neighborhood are typically traditional in style like the rest of Winnetka: Colonials, Tudors and the occasional Victorian.  Most have at least four bedrooms but many are much larger. There is no typical lot size but many of the homes on the east side of the village are between a quarter and a half acre.

Homes in the neighborhood range from $649,000 to $15,975,000, but the average sale price during the first half of 2012 was $1,428,319. The four highest priced homes for sale are all lakefront properties along Sheridan Road.

There are currently 22 active listings in east Winnetka. Here’s a sampling:

812 Foxdale – $899,000

761 Lincoln – $1,375,000

835 Humboldt – $1,695,000

790 Bryant – $3,100,000

If you would like more information about these or any other homes in Winnetka, give us a call at 847-881-6657. We’d be happy to help you. You can also search for Winnetka homes here.

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North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Winnetka Home Sales by Elementary School – 1st Half 2012

Here’s a look at homes sales and prices by elementary school neighborhood in Winnetka. While the in average home sale prices diverge that much from one school to another, the range is wide, all the way from $355,000 up a $4,400,000 in Crow Island , while in Greeley, homes range fin price rom $482,000 to $4,900,000. The range in Hubbard Woods is tighter: $739,000 to $2,305,000. Winnetka’s small portion of the Avoca district is strictly high end, ranging from $1,400,000 to $2,175,000.


Winnetka Sales by School – 1st Half 2012

Source: MRED LLC – Data for single family homes. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Would you like a list of all the homes that have sold in your neighborhood this year? You can get it here.

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Winnetka Children’s Fair 2012

Winnetka Childrens' Fair

This Friday when school lets out for the summer, kids in Winnetka and surrounding communities will make a bee-line over to the Winnetka Children’s Fair to celebrate.  The fair, now in its 66th year, started as (and still is) a fundraiser for the Winnetka Community Nursery School. Organized by the Board of Directors of the school, it also relies on hundreds of volunteers to make the fair one of the highlights of North Shore kids’ summer.

The weather hasn’t been very cooperative for the fair in the last couple of years but this year the forecast is for sunny days in the 80’s.

Here are the details:

What: Games, rides, food and craft booths (mostly geared to kids up to 10 but older kids will enjoy some of the rides)

When: Friday and Saturday, June 8-9 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where: Winnetka Village Green (Maple St. between Oak and Elm)

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.


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Memorial Day Ceremonies on the North Shore of Chicago


Before you hit the pool or fire up the grill on Monday, take time to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day at one of the North Shore’s ceremonies:


American Legion Post 42 will host a Memorial Day ceremony at Fountain Square  – Veterans Memorial Plaza (Davis St. and Sherman Ave.) beginning at 10:30 am. The Northwestern University NROTC color guard and rifle team have been invited to participate. Evanston leaders will offer their thoughts and perspectives on Memorial Day and its meaning.


The parade begins at 10:30 on the corner of Lake and Ridge (St. Joseph’s parking lot) and proceeds down Lake to Park Ave, then south to Wilmette Ave. and east to Village Hall, where there will be a ceremony to honor our war heroes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winnetka Congregational Church Rummage Sale

rummage sale winnetka

I love the whole concept of rummage sales. Far from being an anachronism as some might think, they serve several important purposes, all at once:

  • They make low cost items available to those who need them.
  • They facilitate the re-use and recycling  of usable goods, thus sparing our landfills from more trash.
  • They provide a convenient (and tax-deductible) way to get rid of the stuff you no longer need.
  • And (in many cases) the proceeds provide funding for local charities and social service agencies.

This week Winnetka Congregational Church will hold its 80th consecutive spring rummage sale. It’s one of the biggest one-day rummage sales in the area (if not the world!), with 31 “departments” including furniture, electronics, toys, hardware, clothing, books, china, crystal and more. It  involves hundreds of volunteers, many of whom have been working at the sale for decades.  And it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars which are donated (after expenses) to nearly 40 Chicago-area social service agencies.

Here are the details of this year’s sale:

When: Thursday, May 10 from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Where: Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

Two pieces of advice:

Come early for the best selection or come late for the best deals.

Parking in Winnetka on sale day is a nightmare…take public transportation or get someone to drop you off.

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Winnetka Neighborhoods: Hubbard Woods

Was There an Old Mother Hubbard?

There was an Old Father Hubbard, an early landowner, Gilbert Hubbard, who moved to Winnetka in 1871 after the Chicago fire, but no knowledge of his wife exists. The neighborhood that later developed on Hubbard’s land became known as Hubbard Woods and the elementary school (eventually) took its name from the surrounding neighborhood.

Hubbard Woods is located in the northern part of Winnetka. The neighborhood is bounded on the east by Green Bay Rd., on the north by Scott Ave., on the south by Pine St. and on the west by the Skokie Lagoons. The elementary school also serves a small part of Winnetka that is east of Green Bay between Tower Rd. and Woodlawn Avenue.

Homes in Hubbard Woods are typically traditional in style: Tudors, Colonials, Georgians, etc. Many were built between 1905 and 1930, though a few date from the late 1800’s. During the recent boom a number of smaller, older homes were torn down and replaced by new construction. Current prices for single-family homes range from $585,000 to $4,500,000, with a median list price of $1,498,000. In 2011 the average sales price was $1,392,000. Some of the most desirable streets with the biggest homes are Ardsley, Pelham, Laurel and Private Rd. Lot sizes for homes at the lower end of the price range are typically 50’x160′, while larger homes have lots as big as a half acre or more.

The neighborhood has its own shopping area along Green Bay Rd. with stores and a few restaurants, as well as a Metra station.

There are currently 46 homes for sale in Hubbard Woods. Here’s a sampling:

1427 Scott - $745,000

1427 Scott - $745,000

1190 Oakley - $895,000

1190 Oakley - $895,000

1168 Asbury - $1,939,000

1168 Asbury - $1,939,000

1090 Crescent - $2,995,000

1090 Crescent - $2,995,000

A little about Hubbard Woods School. Constructed in 1915, it was originally called Skokie School. (The name was changed to Hubbard Woods School in 1924, when the new junior high, named Skokie School, was opened.) Modern for its time, Hubbard Woods was designed to be a haven for students and less severe in appearance and environment than other schools of that era. To make each classroom feel like second home for the students, each had a skylight and its own outside entrance. To accommodate a growing population, the school was expanded and remodeled several times between 1918 and 1999. You can get information about Hubbard Woods School ratings and school reports here.

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Winnetka Colonial Home for Sale

149 Glenwood exterior

Here’s a great house in a wonderful neighborhood on the north end of Winnetka. This delightful brick home at 149 Glenwood has all the charm of a vintage house and all the modern amenities you’d find in a newer home. Listed for $739,000, it’s bigger than it looks from the street. Downstairs it has an elegant living room with floor to ceiling arched windows and a fireplace. The formal dining room opens to a cozy sunroom and to a comfy sunken family room. The eat-in kitchen has been recently updated with granite counters and stainless appliances.

On the second floor there’s a large new master bedroom and bath as well as two family bedrooms and bright and fresh hall bath. Up on the third floor is a fourth bedroom with sitting room/office and half bath, a perfect teenage suite.

Out back is a lovely shaded patio and a two car garage. Just across the street and down the block is a great little neighborhood park and playlot. You can get more info about this home here.

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Winnetka Neighborhoods: Crow Island

Map of Winnetka District 36Crow Island: Where are the Crows? In Fact, Where is the Island?

Crow Island is named for a geographic feature that no longer exists. Originally, the western part of Winnetka bordered the Skokie swamp. Within this swamp were a few islands, one of which was called Crow Island because many crows nested there. During 1933 through 1940, the swamp was drained to form the present-day Skokie Lagoons. While most of the crows now nest elsewhere, the former island location, just west of Crow Island School, is now called the Crow Island Woods and serves as an outdoor laboratory for learning, where wildlife and wildflowers abound.

Crow Island neighborhood (and the school for which it is named) is located in the southwestern section of town. The school was opened in 1941 and expanded and remodeled in 1954 and 1975. Its attendance area (shaded in blue on the map) is defined by Pine Street on the north, Hibbard Road on the west, Winnetka Road/Hill Road on the south, and Green Bay Road on the east.

The houses here are mostly traditional in style: Colonial, Georgian and Tudor, plus a few Capes, Victorians and American Four Squares. The majority of the houses here were built between 1920 and 1940. However, during the recent housing boom many smaller homes were torn down and replaced by new construction. Lots sizes are typically 50 x 187 but vary greatly depending on where the property is located. In many cases the garages are detached and accessible via alleys.

Home prices in Crow Island range all the way from $425,000 to $3,500,000, but the typical price range is $750,000 to $1,000,000. There are currently 46 homes on the market in Crow Isalnd. Here is a sampling:

982 Elm St., Winnetka

982 Elm - $699,000

569 Sunset - $849,000

569 Sunset - $849,000

277 Ridge - $1,090,000

277 Ridge - $1,090,000

999 Hill Rd. - $2,795,000

999 Hill Rd. - $2,795,000

The Crow Island school building is considered by many to be the jewel of elementary schools, not just within Winnetka but within the nation. In 1971, the original architects received the American Institute of Architects’ 25-Year Award for the school. (The award had been given only once before, to the Rockefeller Center in New York City.) Further, in 1975 Crow Island School received architectural recognition when its recently completed Resource Center was awarded citations for excellence of design by a number of state and national organizations and was featured in a display at the AASA Convention in Dallas. More recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Crow Island School as a National Historic Landmark in 1990. You can take a video tour of Crow Island School with Joe Zekas from Yo Chicago here.

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