This pre-annexation home was built in 1888-89, probably by Mr. Cairnduff. The original address was 1115. Mr. Alfred Williston, stenographer, purchased the home in April 1889 with the cost being $5,000. He lived there with his household of five. In 1900, Alfred Williston was elected Alderman of the 25th Ward and he served in that role until 1908. The house was originally frame with an open porch. It was stuccoed later. The application of stucco over wood siding was once viewed as a way to modernize a home.
From the street the twin front gables are distinctive. Each has three square windows centered in the triangular shape of the gable. At the second floor level of the façade it appears that the exterior wall is a replacement—perhaps built to enclose a porch. At the first floor level the front porch is now enclosed with windows from the 1930s. The entrance is through the enclosed front porch.
The interior door opens into the reception hall where the staircase ascends to the second floor. The elegant baluster is made of turned wood in a pattern based on a square. Note also the detail along the sides of the staircase. The walls are decorated with a wooden wainscoting which has been painted white.
Throughout the house the doorways and windows are framed in bull’s-eye molding, which was popular before 1900. In the living room, the central window has an original stained glass above a large window. This room also has a corner fireplace which may not be original but is in keeping with the original design of the home. It has a mirror above the mantel and classical columns. These columns are an indication of the design based on Classical Greek designs which were in fashion after the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.
The entrance to the dining room is through an opening with double pocket doors. The lovely room is enlarged by a bay window. In this room and throughout the house the flooring is original top nailed narrow board flooring which has been beautifully refinished.
From the dining room you may enter a small hallway which opens into the kitchen. The kitchen has been remodeled and expanded into the back service porch. In the hallway is a door to the “worlds smallest bathroom.”
Up the stairs to the second floor there is a landing with three windows. There may have been a stained glass window here. On the second floor are three bedrooms and a small room being converted to a bathroom. The hall makes a turn to the bathroom at the back of the house.
As you exit the home, the moldings around the front door are unusual and probably not original. The lion is quite interesting. Stop by and visit the beautiful deck. This backyard space has been transformed to an outdoor room.