This beautiful home is a custom built Queen Anne that has retained most of its original details. It was built for George Lill, son of the George Lill who owned Lill Coal. The company had a coal yard at Berwyn and Broadway where the Jewel store now stands. The permit for the home is dated September 28, 1895. At the time this home was built there were few homes in the area. It is in John Younger’s Grand Avenue Addition to Chicago. Granville was called Grand until the 1909 change that brought uniformity to the street name and numbering system. George the son lived in the home from 1896-1899. He worked for his father’s firm as secretary/treasurer. In 1910, the owner was Louis E. Sauter.
Standing in front of the home, you must be impressed with the three tiered bay formation on the left side. The attic windows at the top are diamond shaped leaded glass. The full façade front porch with tapered columns supporting the roof is spacious and one could imagine the breeze from the lake coming along Granville. The eaves at the second and third floor levels are decorated with brackets. The door is placed asymmetrically and is original as are the doorbell and door hardware. In fact, all through the house, the hardware is original. Just above the door and a little to the right is a series of windows that is high above the first floor but not quite at the second floor level. These windows light a landing for the staircase. The upper section of the windows is diamond shaped leaded glass.
The front door opens into a small vestibule and then into a reception hall. The impression of old wood is strong here. All the wood is quarter-sawn oak from the old growth forest of either Michigan or Wisconsin. The floors are top nailed because the tongue and groove floor was not prevalent before 1900. The wood is original throughout the house. Each doorway is framed in oak with crown moldings at the top. This hall is L-shaped and connects all the rooms.
On the left is the main parlor or living room and, at its the entrance, is a pocket door. The room is decorated with a picture rail and a cove ceiling. To the right is the staircase with delicate balusters. The newel post is accented with a tapered column which extends to a beam and brackets. The light fixtures in the home appear to be authentic for the time period, but it is not known if they are the originals. The house was built at a time when fixtures would have been both gas and electric.
Just past the staircase, towards the front of the house, is the second parlor or family parlor. It has a gas fireplace with oak surround and tile decoration. The original tiles have been replaced and the fireplace surround has had some details removed. This room also has a picture railing. Connected to this parlor is the dining room with another pocket door.
The dining room has a curved back wall with three windows that face the rear. It has both a chair rail and a very high plate rail with brackets. Along one wall is a built-in cabinet with glass doors and, next to it, is a full walk in closet. The dining room opens into the central hall. Since the family would take most meals in the dining room, the food would be brought across the hall from the kitchen to the dining room.
The central hall has doors to a bathroom and additional storage. The kitchen has been updated and designed for modern use and there is now an eating area in the kitchen. The original maple floor has been restored. The door leads to a service porch and outside.
As you climb the staircase, note the elegance of the design. At the landing you have a good view of the second floor hallway. There are four bedrooms on the second floor as well as a full bath. The wall sconces have electric lights in the round bowl, which formerly would have been a gas light. The light facing down would be the original electric light.
The east front bedroom has the fireplace mantel, like the one on the first floor, but with the original details including the original tile and delicate shelving on either side of the mirror. Look into the other three bedrooms, which are quite spacious. The bathroom has period sink and tub. There is an unfinished walk up attic but, apparently, no maids room.
We do not know why the younger George Lill and his family moved from here to an apartment on Wilson Avenue. The home is 111 years old and an Edgewater treasure.