This home was built by Roy E. Knaur in 1906. Thomas F. Hay purchased the home in 1923. The Crandall’s purchased the home from him in 1976. The Hay family left many interesting photos and documents at the home. Some will be on display.
It was built with many unique elements but perhaps the most striking is the wide expanse of the front porch with massive corner columns. In the 1960s when the current owners purchased the home it was covered with wide board siding, including the front porch. When workmen were working on the roof they uncovered the sweeping curve of the eave and this was when the owners decided to begin the restoration. But when you first approach the house it becomes clear that this is the flamingo house. Decorative banners and lights reflect the owner’s interest and love of flamingos.
The beautiful woodwork and many stained and leaded glass windows show the influence of the Arts And Crafts movement. The straight stick balusters on the porch and inside area also elements of the Arts and Crafts movement. The grouping of three windows on the two corners of the building also shows the influence of the Prairie School in Chicago. In older homes most windows were single opening in a wall. With the popularity of the Prairie design several windows were fitted together in one opening. This was given the name ribbon windows.
The front door is a combination of glass and wood that opens into the reception hall where the staircase leads upstairs. The floor plan of this house is a standard for older homes in Chicago. Often this reception space is available for use as a music room or library or just an expansion space of the living room. This home is modern enough that there is no second parlor, just a living room across the whole front of the house. In the living room the large front window has a panel of beveled glass above. At the west end of the living room are two side windows with leaded glass in a curving ogee pattern. The floors are the original oak and all the moldings are original.
The dining room is towards the back of the house and on the back wall is a beautiful built in buffet with beveled glass windows above the serving surface. These windows face the backyard and some of them open for air circulation. The side doors are leaded glass and through them you can see some delicate hand made lace. The light fixture above the table is a replacement that was found in terrible condition in an antique store. The Hoosier cabinet is an original in the family and it came from Indiana.
The kitchen was upgraded before the current owners moved in. It is functional and cheerful in orange and green and the floor is the original maple. Off the back door is a cozy little porch and the entrance to the backyard. The original pantry has been turned into a small bathroom with the original maple floor.
Return to the front hall and the stair case. At the landing are original stained glass windows in organic styles based on flowers. The windows form a bay with the two side panels matching. At the top of the staircase is the central hall. We will see the front bedroom which would have been the master bedroom. It is a large room with windows at either end connected to the three front windows forming a corner window arrangement. Again these elements show the influence of the Prairie School. This large bedroom might have been two bedrooms in the American Foursquare design. On our tour today there were three homes with this large front bedroom. There are two bedrooms toward the back of the house.