2004 Home Tour - Magnolia Glen

Vol. XV No. 2 - FALL 2004

The home tour of Magnolia Glen on September 19th drew about 175 people to walk on these beautiful neighborhood streets. Nine neighbors in the area bounded by Thorndale, Broadway, Ridge and Glenwood opened their homes to these visitors.

The tour began at Bethany Lutheran Church and, thanks to Barbara Strauss, we were able to show the church interior. The early registrants were also invited to share a grilled hot dog with church members, who had gathered for a picnic. There were many helpers at the church preparing the picnic.

One highlight of the tour was the showing of both of the Walter Burley Griffin homes on Magnolia, which were built in 1908 and became Chicago landmarks in 2000. Edgewater architect Thom Greene gave the exterior lecture at this site and included information about Griffin and his years of working for Frank Lloyd Wright. Other volunteers working here were Marieluise Kailing, Jim Price and Chris Payne.

Just down the street from those homes stands a local landmark at the corner of Victoria and Magnolia. It was built by the Voightmans in Carinduff’s Addition to Edgewater in the Queen Anne Style. It still retains its original details both inside and out. Sandee Remis and Riki Schatell guided people through this home. On the same property is the tipsy coach house which was also shown on the tour. Here the tour included a climb to the second floor to see how the building has been straightened out on the inside. Volunteers here included Linda Komosa and David Marshall, with help from Lori Lynch.

From this intersection, visitors were free to either visit a unique cottage on Wayne or wander down Magnolia. The home on Wayne was introduced by Wally Bradford, who had a number of stories about this home before it was rehabbed in the 1970s. Also working with the owner was Reggie Griffin. The home on Magnolia was one of Cairnduff’s original homes. Betty Mayian described the architecture of this unique Queen Anne home. Tour guides included Joan Bradford and the owners. Refreshments were served in the backyard with the help of Alice Czech and Teddy Duskey.

Just around the corner on Early Street, the next two homes caused quite a stir. The first was once the home of an Edgewater Alderman from the early 1900s, Alfred Williston. Because of its size, this home had four tour guides - Larry and Janet Eaton worked with the owners. A special treat at this home was the original stained glass and original tiny first floor bathroom.

Right next door is a home in Edgewater that was once a bed and breakfast. Now this mini mansion is home to a family of five. It also dates from the 1880s and is listed on the Chicago Landmark survey as orange, meaning locally significant. Carl Helbig offered his expertise on building materials at this home with the limestone base and foundation. The home’s owners joined tour guide LeRoy Blommaert in walking people through the three story home.

Just down the block was another unique home which had been significantly improved in the last two years. It offered tourgoers an imaginative solution to the problems with many standard floor plans in homes dating from the early part of the twentieth century.

Here many tour guides alternated so that others could help in other places. The owners worked with Ceci Murphy who joined the team at the last minute when we found we were missing a docent. A special thanks to Ceci.

A wonderful time was had by all. Afterwards, the volunteers gathered at Moody’s on a lovely evening for dinner and stories about the tour and surviving all the activities. Special thanks to all those who worked on the tour and created such a pleasant memory.