This home was built for Nicholas Kransz Jr., the son of the early settler Nicholas Kransz. The permit for the construction of this imposing house was issued to B.F. Weber and Company on April 13, 1907. The estimated cost was given as $7,000, a large sum for a house in the Kransz 2nd Addition to Edgewater. The family retained ownership of the home until 1920. In the Depression, this home was left empty and the Guardian Life Insurance Company held title until Francis J. Sullivan bought the home in 1953. The current owners purchased the home in 1982.
The home has recently undergone exterior work, including a new color scheme in keeping with the typical muted colors of the early part of the twentieth century. Some exterior shingling was replaced and others added in the upper front and side gables. The original roof was slate, which has been replaced. Over the years some of the details, such as the widows walk at the top and the railings on either side of the turret, were removed. These have been restored, so that the home looks like the photo taken of it in 1908. The columns on the wrap around porch indicate this home was designed in a unique style. The balusters do not echo the Queen Anne style, but are a simpler style.
The brick used in the home was from the Purlington Brick Company of Galesburg, Illinois. The color is a deep purplish color with corner quoins in a warm gold. Purlington was known as a paving brick company. They paved the original Ashland Avenue and some samples of their bricks can be seen at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum.
The details and wraparound porch with the corner turret seem to indicate that the home is a Queen Anne. That style originated in America in Philadelphia during a fair celebrating the 100 year anniversary of our nation in 1876. However, by 1907, the elaborate detailing of a Queen Anne had lost favor for a more simplified design. When this home was built, it was designed to be an important home for the developer of the area. Viewed from the corner, the home is symmetrical with a central turret and two front gabled façades with large overhanging eaves. These eaves are not characteristic of the Queen Anne style and indicate the home has other design influences. The current owner has found, in a supplement to the May 1891 issue of Scientific American, a photo of a home that was built in Bridgeport Connecticut. It is remarkably similar to this home and you will see a copy of this photo inside the home.
The entrance to the home is through a front door that is original. The mailbox and one porch light on the east side of the porch are also original. The staircase in the reception hall has simple wood balusters like the porch and other exterior railings. The traditional double parlor has been altered with the removal of a wall which creates a more spacious room. The cast iron stove is new and replaced a gas heater that was removed when the house was vacant. The windows above the stove probably had leaded glass like the one in the dining room. Other alterations in this room include changes in some of the woodwork, such as the removal of the crown moldings. All the woodwork is oak. The door hardware was changed sometime in the 1950s.
Between the living room and dining room were pocket doors that have been replaced with French doors. In the dining room is one beveled glass window of the style that would have been used in several other places in the home. The dining room light fixture, a period replacement, is in keeping with the use of combination fixtures at this time in Edgewater when electricity was not available all the time and gas was supplementary. Other gas/electric wall fixtures have been found in the home in the attic and basement. The built-in cabinet in the original room was removed sometime during the years the house was unoccupied.
The kitchen at the back of the home has been updated. It originally had two pantries – one heated and one unheated. One has become part of the powder room. The kitchen was connected to the second floor by a back stairway through a back hallway. This has been redesigned so there are now only two doors, rather than the original four. Originally there had been a speaking tube in this back hallway, which was connected to the maids room on the third floor.
On the second floor are four bedrooms and a bath that has been updated. Little has been changed on this floor. The hallway extends at an angle to a second floor balcony, facing the back that the current owners have made into a deck. Originally, this doorway was a large double sash window.
The third floor includes the maids room and a full bath.