The permit to build this home was issued on April 29, 1899 to John Lewis Cochran, who developed this block as his 4th Addition to Edgewater. It shares the permit with 1316 Norwood. Both homes were designed by Neils Buck, who worked closely with Cochran for a number of years. The original address of the home was 1053 Norwood. During its 100-plus year history it has been altered, yet it retains much of its original beauty. The Roy Hill family lived in the home beginning in 1919. By 1931, the home had been turned into a two-flat. This alteration included a reconfiguration of the front stairs. A previous owner reports that the Tillstrom family lived in the house while Burr Tillstrom (creator of Kukla, Fran and Ollie) attended Senn High School. In 1988, the home was returned to a single family home.
This post Victorian home shows the influence of many styles. The newly reconstructed full front porch is typical of many homes in the area and in Cochran’ s earlier additions. Care has been taken to retain the historic details of the porch. The upper story gable ends of the home were cedar shingled, while the lower story was board on board siding. The second story bay window is accented by a pediment which is shingled. The shingled curve transition from the second floor façade to the roof of the porch is a unique detail that shows the influence of the Dutch Colonial style. The original roof was also cedar shingled.
The front door is original oak. To the right of the door is a fixed window with detailed mullions. The front door opens into a vestibule before opening into a reception hall. The staircase railing is a replacement, since the original was altered when it became a two-flat. Much of the original oak woodwork has been preserved throughout the house. Each door and window surround is framed with crown moldings and egg and dart detailing. The current owners have taken care to maintain the profile of the crown moldings in the new addition.
The living room has a bay window for added light. In one corner is a fireplace that was originally gas and remains so, although the unit has been recently replaced. (Upon investigation, the current owners found that the flue had been filled with bricks when the chimney was abandoned and demolished to below the roof line.) The replacement mantelpiece was found at 6117 N. Winthrop in a home that was demolished in 2004. The fireplace surround and hearth tiles are new.
The dining room is bright and light due to the bay window. It originally contained a built-in hutch, which was removed at some point in the house’s history and stored in pieces in the basement, probably because it was too large to dispose of. The dining room opens into an adjoining room that was once the kitchen, but is now used as a den. It has a maple floor, as was typical of kitchens in the late 1890s. In the hallway to the addition are markings on the floor that show where the original house ended and the addition began.
The addition has been reconfigured and improved since it was built in 1989-90. At that time, the previous owners added a new kitchen/family room onto the back of the house. The current owners have redesigned and expanded that addition to include a new deck, new fenestration in the south wall and two new entries, in order to provide easy access to the deck and basement. The back door also came from 6117 Winthrop. The renovation work was completed in the summer of 2006 and landscaping remains an ongoing project of the current owners.
On the second floor, the staircase opens into a large room which was probably altered by the removal of a wall during the period when the house was converted to a two-flat. The floors are narrow “strip” oak board flooring. In this room, you will find the china hutch that was found in disrepair in the basement and restored by the current owners. At the front of the house is the original master bedroom with adjacent sitting room. Off the central large room is a second bed room. There is also a full bath.
The 1989 renovation of the home included a redesign of the second floor. This has been reconfigured and updated as part of the current renovation. Just past the central room is the newly redesigned master bedroom suite, including a small sun porch, master bath and a closet/dressing room. You will be shown all of these. Above the second floor, under the eaves, is additional attic space that has been opened up by the current owners. It is reached by a library ladder in the central room.