Historic Beauty

A 10+ Year Conservation of a Significant Property

This grand, neoclassical home, circa 1893, was one of the first residences constructed in Wilmette and the oldest surviving home in the neighborhood. We were lucky enough to become stewards of its renovation – for two successive owners – and provide the design and construction of much-needed additions that lead to a 2008 Wilmette Historic Preservation Award.

We researched information on the original home using resources at the Wilmette Historical Society. From old plans, pictures and on-site research – we were able to find the story in the remaining pieces and parts to plan restorations that would respect the vision of the original architect.

We were mindful of the Greek revival details when we added dormer windows at the roofline and commissioned hand-carved ionic-style capitals to top the deteriorated exterior columns. Though now supported by the modern conveniences of radiant heat and a top-of-the-line furnace, original features like a wood-burning fireplace in a second-floor bedroom continue to convey the charm of the 1800s.

Our 10+ year transformation of the property included renovation to the exterior as well as a two-story addition to the north side, a remodeled kitchen now filled with natural light, a new mudroom, family room, master bedroom and bath, SoulCycle inspired lower level gym, rebuilding of the exterior entertainment porch, the first fire pit in Wilmette, a fresh bluestone approach and iron-gated front walk (complete with the same floral medallion motif as the detailing on the front columns.) We replaced every window in the house – while preserving the original stairwell windows and the oval window on the second level uncovered during construction. And the story will continue with an upcoming 3-car garage and outdoor kitchen!

We endeavored to maintain continuity between the past and present while updating the spaces for modern living. We are so happy that the home is in the wonderful hands of a family that truly considers themselves custodians of the property.

Photography: Van Inwegen Digital Arts

historic-beauty-circa-1942

Historic photo of the home circa 1942.

– – –
Save this to your Ideabook on Houzz
Houzz

From the Homeowner

"We feel like this was an important effort for the next generation. Winning an historic preservation award was a great additional outcome."

Share this Project