This home, built in 1938 on two oversized lots, captures the beauty of the modern age and the craftsmanship of the old. Surprisingly, this home has had only two owners since its construction and is essentially unaltered, despite being over 50 years old. As you look at the home from the front, you immediately notice the beautiful faceted bay window, with French windows and iron railings. On the corners are brick quoins and the clay tile roof is original. The home was built at a cost of $18,000 and is one of the newest structures in the area. It was built for Michael Peckels and his wife Cecilia (Berg), both of whom were from the neighborhood. Peckels was a VP of International Harvester and a personal friend of the McCormicks. The architect was Martin Simpson and the builder was Bakker. It is one of the first homes built in Chicago which was equipped with forced air gas heating in its original installation.
The exterior entrance design places the home in the Colonial Revival context, with the broken pediment over the arched doorway and fluted pilasters on each side. The interior entrance hall features arched design doorways, in natural Wisconsin birch woodwork, and a marble floor. The arch theme is carried out throughout the home. In the hallway, notice the beautiful turned wood spindles of the staircase handrail and the special oval stained glass window. The design depicts a vase and is decidedly modern.
The grand living room is light and airy, with windows on two sides. The French windows with muntins and the fixed windows above flood the room with light. The ceiling is coved with a decorative molding, as are many homes of the 19th century. The focal point of the room is the beautiful wood burning fireplace with black marble surround. The wood mantel is classical in design.
The entrance to the dining room is through a beautiful natural birch archway featuring decorative keystone on either side of the doorway. On either side are inset arched bookcases. In the dining room are two corner china cabinets which were added in the 1940s. The dining room opens into a cozy den with knotty pine wall panels.
The kitchen, which was modernized in the 1940s, has been recently renovated using a blend of the old and new. Using the original built-in kitchen pantry as a model, cabinets were created to match using the natural birch and granite. Notice the original milk box, under the west window, which houses a metal lined box into which deliveries could be made via a door on the outside of the wall. A hallway to the front of the house has built-in storage across from a powder room. The tile, lighting and fixtures in this bathroom, as well as the large upstairs full bathroom, are all original.
On the second floor, you will see the original bathroom at the top of the large formal staircase. The home was originally designed with one smaller bedroom in the front of the house for the Peckles’ son, Robert. The entire south side of the house was a large master bedroom suite. When Robert was older, the two rooms of the master suite were altered by the closing of the archway between them, making them into two rooms. The French doors in the back bedroom once opened to a large open-air deck, located at the rear of the house over the den and kitchen. This deck has been enclosed and is currently a walk-in closet and workout room.
The lower level of the home features a large family room with knotty pine wall panels, clay tile floor and a full height ceiling. There is additional space for a bathroom, laundry room and furnace room.