This home was once a small classical Chicago cottage, one of several in a row on the Street. At the back of the deep lot is a second small cottage, perhaps built prior to the construction of the front one. Both homes were probably built in the 1890s to accommodate working people who supplied the labor for some of the businesses in the area. On this long block there was once a ladder factory and a sausage factory. Now the street is chiefly residential.
As you pass through the high fencing into the yard, you are in for a surprise. Tucked behind the fence is a wonderful deck set up for family outdoor dining. As you ascend the stairs to the high first floor entrance, you will see the 1890s detailing near the peak of the front gable. It is a bull’s-eye design used in most moldings of that decade. The staircase and front entrance has been improved with a turned wood handrail, which is appropriate to the period. At the front door you will note the front bay windows and the original front door. Before entering, turn and look to the west at the view of the train embankment and its grassy slope. It was not there when this home was built since these tracks were not raised until around 1908.
The home has a small entry-way and then an opening into a hallway. It appears that the home was once divided into two dwellings. The current owners have taken this small cottage and expanded it. It has been a long process and the work continues.
As you enter the living room, take a look at the phone alcove under the stairs. The living room has been returned to a quiet room for reading. The front bay window now has a cozy bench with padded cushion. This small room has been expanded and the floor shows the evidence of where the original dining room began. Off the dining room is a small bedroom. Both the dining room and the small bedroom are being used for workspace.
Just behind the dining room is the kitchen and eating area. The kitchen has been totally redesigned to work with the flow of the interior space. A central island provides a workspace and the cabinets are natural maple with cherry crown moldings and the appliances stainless steel.
The kitchen opens into a large addition to the home, sometimes called a great room. This elegant space with beautiful oak flooring is divided into a dining area and a relaxing area. There are windows on all three sides of the space with pine moldings in keeping with the homes original style. At the back wall is a free-standing wood burning fireplace.
Between the kitchen and the great room is the original back stairway, which leads to an open room on the ground floor. This room opens out into the garden with both wild flowers and vegetables. Though this home has been here over 100 years, it retains the feeling of a rural area just outside a busy city.