This home is one of many built by the Weber Company on Granville Avenue. While the earliest homes in Chicago were wooden cottages with front gable roofs, the homes built by Weber of the National Brick Company were designed with the Queen Ann style in mind. When Bernard Weber married Annie Kransz the two families joined forces to develop the Kransz farm land and additional land owned by Weber. These homes have similar floor plans but from the street there are a variety of versions of the facade. It is interesting to try to find a matching or twin house. Some have front bays, some have side bays and some have turrets and some even have double front dormers. The cost of building these homes was stated on the permit as $2000 to $3000.
The permit was taken out in 1903 with Weber as the original owner so this home was built on speculation. In 1920 the owners were Henry and Emma Krelle who had a daughter and a son. Henry and son Herbert worked as clerks for an insurance company and daughter Laura was a clerk for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad which ran by the home just one block away. Later, in the 1920s William and Ellen Whelan lived in the home.
This version of the Weber home has a front porch and a bay window on the second floor. Above the front door is a decorative dormer at the third floor level. The challenge is to find a second house on Granville that has this detail. From the street you can see the small leaded glass window in the front hall to the right of the door. The door is original and it opens into the reception area which has a hallway mirror like the one in the Norman home across the street.
In the living room the back wall has been removed so that the space is open from the front of the house to the back. The dining area has a bay window facing back. Above the dining room table is a “Classical Revival Opaque Glass Inverted Dome Chandelier” mounted beneath a handmade aged oak octagonal canopy. This fixture was restored by the owners.
The kitchen can be reached from the front hall through a short hallway as well as from the dining room. There are oak hardwood floors throughout the kitchen. The cabinets are oak and the counter is a hunter green laminate. The kitchen office was originally a back porch that was enclosed and it has great view of the garden. The enclosure included one window of the dining room bay which the owners have transformed into a double sided bookcase open to both the office and the dining room including four opaque frosted ice glass shelvesIn the hallway a small bathroom has been added.
The staircase to the second floor has its original handrail. The stairs have winders which means you should tread carefully as the shape of the steps changes on the turn. On the second floor there are three bedrooms each with 6 panel doors painted white as they would have been originally. The floors are fir or heart of pine which is also like the Norman home across the street. The front bedroom is comprised of two rooms. The larger is the actual bedroom and the smaller one may have been a nursery. Today it is the owners dressing room and home office.
The bathroom has been expanded and updated. When the owners purchased the house 12 years ago the second floor bathrooms had not been updated in 50 years. It had thick yellow ceramic tile, no ventilation, antiquated fixtures etc. A small room was adjacent to the bathroom. The renovation removed the wall separating the two rooms creating a spacious master bathroom with an air bubble whirlpool set in front of two windows overlooking the City of Chicago Landscaping Award winning garden. Two pedestal sinks were installed along with two medicine chests, a steam shower and new lighting. The walls have a bead board wainscoting that preserves the look of an older bathroom.
A second bedroom has windows facing the back of the house. The bed has a headboard of aged oak that was salvaged from wainscoting in an old home near Granville and Kenmore that was slated for demolition. This home is about to celebrate 110 years in Edgewater and its original charm has been enhanced with changes in the interior and the beautiful garden that surrounds it.