Designated on the National Register of Historic Places, this residence was originally designed by architect Clarence Hatzfeld for the Theodore Rozek family in 1908. The Rozek family built the house in 1908 and various members of the Rozek family owned and occupied it until 2000.Theodore’s son Gerald Rozek and his family lived across the street at 6345 N. Hermitage Ave. for several decades. The current owner has done thorough research on the house and received National Register status last year.
In its original form, this house was a classic American Foursquare like several other nearby homes designed by Hatzfeld at the time. Some of them are on Highland Avenue and some are on Devon Avenue just east of the original Chicago and Northwestern train line along Ravenswood now the Union Pacific). In 1925, the Rozeks determined that they would like to enlarge their home and update its exterior appearance so they hired architect Andrew E. Norman to design an addition to the front of their home. The project included an extension to the living room and new front half wraparound porch with corner staircase that has curved stairs. Although Norman created a distinctive new porch, he was very sensitive to the earlier building. He re-used the columns from the original porch and he also incorporated the original front windows in the extended living room. These double windows have a diamond design in the upper half. Norman also added several new windows that matched the originals. Two of the windows are placed at angles so that this extension is not a rigid box next to the curved porch. The diamond design is repeated in the second story windows. On the third floor level are two front gabled dormers, one on the front and the second facing Highland, with each having X shaped mullions.
The exterior of the original 1908 house had narrow board siding along the first story and stucco above. (Most of the early Hatzfeld designed houses in the neighborhood had this treatment, which can still be seen at 6346 N. Hermitage.) A two level screened-in sleeping porch was added sometime around 1915 and fully enclosed in the early 1960s thus increasing the size of the whole house. This is visible from the Highland Avenue side.
The front door is original and the interior of the home has most of its original details. The entrance hall provides a space for the staircase and a coat closet to the left was made from the original stairway that led down to the basement. (There is now a mudroom off the kitchen with the stairway to the basement.) On the interior landing for the front stairway, there is a small leaded glass window. The front hall opens onto the enlarged living room which has oak floors and original woodwork. This room includes the addition designed by A. E. Norman and from the inside it is apparent that he paid close attention to details.
In addition to the living room, there is also a second parlor or in this home which was labeled as “den” in the original plans. This older style of interior space design retained the “front room” for guests. In the family parlor there is a bay on the south side with a long horizontal leaded glass window in a simple design. This window is matched in a similar bay in the dining room on the north side. A small bathroom was added in the early 1960s off the family parlor in the space that was once part of the pantry. Between this room and the dining room is an original pocket door.
The dining room has an original cabinet, a buffet under the second leaded glass window with two full sized windows on either side. On the interior wall, the cabinet is a china hutch. Both are oak and have classical details. The oak door that leads to the kitchen is an unusual one. It has the diamond design in the center for a small window. It is a swinging door which was typical for a door leading to the kitchen for the ease of carrying food back and forth to the dining room.
The current owners completely updated the kitchen last summer. The room includes the space of the former back porch which allows for a spacious eating area. Just off the kitchen is a deck with a view of the backyard and the original stucco garage. The semi-custom cherry cabinets are from Crystal Cabinetry. The new floor is maple and the counters are granite. The tile is from Subway Ceramics in Verona, WI. This tile has been reproduced using the same methods and materials that were used for the production of historic Subway tile. Opposite the work area is a walk in pantry (which is half the size of the original).
On the second floor the front room is the master bedroom with an additional space for a closet and dressing area. Along the hall is another bedroom and a full bath. A third bedroom is located in the back of the house. There is a Jack-and-Jill closet that connects the two bedrooms. Another room extends behind it across the back. This was the old sleeping porch and is now used as an office. This room has a sliding glass that leads out onto the second floor deck.