This American Craftsman bungalow was designed in 1914 by architects Hatzfeld and Knox. The contractor who built the home was Joseph Neukischer and the original owner was Hubert P. Irmeter, a Swedish immigrant. The cost of the home was $6,000. Between 1916 and 1935, the home was owned by Danish immigrant Sivert Holleson and his family. In 1935, Gerald and Frances Rozek purchased the house. Gerald, who was in the printing business with his father, grew up across the street at 6337 N. Hermitage. Gerald’s family lived in the house for 62 years. From the sidewalk, you can see its dramatic architectural features. The brick bungalow, which has clapboard at the upper story, has two primary facades, fitting quite well on the corner. Facing the west side is a clipped gable peak on the upper story and a sun porch on the first floor.
Facing the street on Highland Avenue is the front entrance. Features of this façade include a front gabled roof line at the second floor with open eaves and a wide overhang. At the second floor level, the clapboard siding is visible. At the first floor level is the brick structure with a box-like bay and ribbon windows. All of these elements indicate Craftsman design which was popular in the United States from about 1905-1920.
The home has most of its original woodwork and the current owners have retained the basic layout intact. As you enter the front door, notice the large and beautifully proportioned bracket that meets the roof line that extends over the entrance porch. The front door is the original oak. Once inside, you will be in an entrance hall that serves to create a good traffic flow.
To the left as you enter is the living room. This room shows many original Craftsman-style features. Among them is the arrangement of the ceiling beams in a rectangle with the original light fixtures at the corners. In the center of the room is the original light fixture, lovingly restored by the current owner, who found it intact in the original garage attic. Perhaps the most beautiful feature of the home is the brick fireplace at the end of the room. On either side of it are two cozy benches and, above the benches, there are classical Craftsman-designed art glass windows. The floors and woodwork are oak. Arts and Crafts stenciling has been added in the room above the picture rail and the wall and ceiling colors were chosen based on research from that era. The living room opens out onto a large sun porch through French doors. This room was open to the weather in the original design. After you step into the sun porch, be sure to notice the second set of doors which act as storm doors in the winter season. In the summer, this room provides a place to catch a cool breeze.
Back in the hallway, you will see the glass and wood pocket door that separates the hall from the dining room. Here, the Craftsman style is articulated through the unique arrangement of ceiling beams and handsome original windows. All of the woodwork is oak. Along the north wall, there once stood a beautiful builtin china hutch with the same art glass pattern as the fireplace windows. This hutch was removed by the previous owners and relocated. The door between the dining room and the kitchen is oak and is beautifully designed with a central square in raised oak moldings.
The kitchen floor (once again exposed and refinished) and the other floors in the home are maple. The kitchen has been remodeled since the home was built, retaining all original builtin cabinets. It has an original wainscoting around the room. The back door opens out onto a small porch. Along the west wall of the kitchen is a builtin maple cabinet and, just opposite that cabinet, is the pantry which has been opened up to be a part of the kitchen. New glass-fronted cabinets echo the original cabinet design and hang over an island of cabinets. The island counter is covered in handmade Spanish ceramic tile with a border of inset tiles of an ivy design reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts era. The original milk box is there and it opens onto the porch. The original brick chimney exhaust behind the stove has been exposed and a new vent hood added.
In the wall next to the pantry is the laundry chute, complete with matching maple door. Past the pantry is a glass-paneled door and back hallway with two bedrooms and a bath. Between the bedrooms is a linen closet with builtin shelving and three-drawer cabinet. You will see one bedroom, which is set up as a guest room. This hallway separates the private quarters of the family from the rest of the home. Doors around the hallway allow for zoning off of rooms. From this hallway you reach a wide staircase to the second floor.
The upstairs hallway shows another unique element in this home’s design: the bedrooms on either side of the staircase have two sets of clerestory windows which open onto the hallway. This creates a cross-draft through the rooms. One room has been turned into a library/ study and in this room is one of the original light fixtures.
Between the two rooms is a bathroom that has been expanded and restored by the current owners. The floor was uncovered and is maple. Refinished original maple trim moldings have been installed as a wainscoting around the room. This matches the original baseboard and maple moldings around the door. New tile has been installed which replicates what would have been original: a white glazed tile in rectangles like bricks called subway tile. Inset in this tile wall in the tub alcove are three special tiles in the green color which is the hallmark of Craftsman design. The toilet and tank are the original; the tank is oak with tin liner. The sink, though new, fits the period of the home. The mirror frame uses the same maple as the trim and moldings.
Outside, the original 1-1/2 car cement-block garage was replaced in 2003 with a 2-1/2 car frame garage, copying the Craftsman architecture, including clipped dormer on the front and wood brackets on three sides supporting the rakeboards. The color scheme was also copied from the house, using paint colors of the Arts and Crafts era (Roycroft Brass and Roycroft Suede). Notice that the colors are reversed since the garage is clapboard, with the upper story shingles copying the house brick color.