Tour of Homes 2016
The 48th Annual Tour of Homes was presented by the Historical Society on June 26, 2016 with over 300 guests attending the event. This is our largest fund raising event every year and has allowed the Society to accomplish so much over the years.
This year we were lucky to have convinced homeowners of three beautiful homes to open their doors to our visitors. The comments were especially positive this year perhaps because all three of the homes were in the same neighborhood and could be visited on foot. Two beautiful homes at 936 and 945 N. Sheridan Road were directly across from each other and 924 North County was only a block away. At 945 N. Sheridan visitors could see a home that was once a farmhouse with a barn and is situated at the top of the bluff overlooking the Lake. At 936 N. Sheridan the grand brick home has recently added a huge garden, water garden, and coach house that was once part of the property and had been sold off many years ago. Guests were amazed to "discover" the amazing additions hidden behind the home. At 924 N. County guests were treated to a beautiful four square Craftsman style home filled with Mission or Craftsman styled furniture that perfectly complimented the period of the house. The homeowners have worked for many years to restore this very comfortable home.
In addition to the homes open for the Tour; we were also lucky enough to have St. Anastasia Church and School open for the afternoon. This year the School and Church are celebrating their 100th anniversary and our attendees were able to walk the halls of the School and tour the magnificent Church.
The History Museum and the Raymond Library were also open to our guests and many people took advantage of this to talk to our volunteers and begin researching their own homes.
The success or failure of this event depends greatly on the weather and this year it looked as if we were going to get rain all afternoon. However, someone was looking out for us and it remained clear and warm all afternoon. We look forward to 2017 and another great turnout for the Annual Tour of Homes.
945 N. Sheridan Road
This home was built in 1924 for a widow, Nellie Dady Conrad. Her father, Robert Dady, was a Lake county pioneer and successful sheep farmer who owned 1,000 acres on the outskirts of Waukegan. He owned the property on Sheridan Road and lived in a frame house there. That house was razed to build the current home.
Nellie Conrad was born in 1861. Early on, she was an astute local business woman and real estate investor. She was founder of the Rink Ballroom on Belvidere and the Valencia Ballroom on Genesee Street and had several other real estate holdings. When she died at the age of 88 in 1949, the property was left to her foster son, Gus Gorgan. The home passed through additional owners until the current owner purchased the property in 2005.
This Mediterranean style brick home features broad terraces, arched windows and a clay tile roof. The interior contains 3,500 feet of living space, including four bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths. The exterior is beautifully landscaped by the owner, a professional landscape architect.
Enter through the lush Florida Room; large windows provide ample light to fill this spacious sun room. This room retains the original green and blue tile floors, a vintage metal chandelier and wall sconces.
As you leave the Florida Room, the French doors to your right lead to a generous living room, furnished with oversized rich red velvet 1920s-era furniture. The original fireplace, at the center of the room, has a walnut mantel with interesting tile medallions.
From the living room, your tour takes you through the vestibule, with the original Arts & Crafts tiles on the floor, textured plaster walls, and an inner French door with stained glass sidelights. A sweeping three-story staircase takes you to the third floor.
The dining room is to the right of the main hallway through another set of French doors. The arched windows along the front of the room compliment the owner’s furnishings: a carved table, oak hall tree, a reclaimed built-in sideboard and a chandelier from England. The kitchen was completely removed and rebuilt. Large windows provide an abundance of light and also a lovely view of the patio and vistas beyond. A cozy breakfast nook features works by local artists and looks out over the front lawn.
The second floor, accessed from the main stairway, has landings facing the back yard at each half level. At the first landing, notice the walnut cabinetry. This lovely linen storage space was created by Paul Shannon, a local craftsman and artist, from a tree that was harvested at 937 N. Sheridan Road. At the top of the stairs, the main bath features exceptional tile work with floral borders. The walk-in shower still has the original glass and chrome door.
Back on the first floor, you will want to make a trip to the basement to see the game room with its fascinating décor.
936 N. Sheridan Road
At one time an 8-room farm house with a barn and an acre of wooded land, this lovely 1920s traditional home has gone through numerous modifications. It stands on property formerly known as the Sher-Ridge Farm: a sheep farm at Sheridan Road and Ridgeland Avenue, once owned by the Dady family. The garage is the original barn.
You enter the home through a beautiful front garden, renovated in 2015. In the front hallway, the stairs that lead to the second floor are directly in front of you. This area has the original wood flooring.
To the right is the living room. It is furnished with an exquisite living room set that belonged to the owner’s grandparents. Photographs of the grandparents, parents and other family members adorn the walls of this room.
The kitchen has expanded over the years. All new appliances were added. The floor was replaced with maple flooring and large windows were added along the back wall to open up the space and provide an expansive view of the park-like back yard and patio.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a sun room that the couple uses every day for their meals. They have a great view of their back yard and Lake Michigan in the distance.
All bedrooms are on the second floor. The master bathroom is vintage 1940s green and pink décor, with a toilet and bathtub from the 1930s. The upstairs hallway has convenient built-in storage drawers. Off a smaller hall is a modest bedroom (the lighthouse room) that was a maids room.
The third floor or the attic has a sewing room, office and another bedroom and bathroom. Notice the display of Lionel trains on the shelves above the stairway. The trains belong to the owner and his father.
The family room, designed by architect Dan Bleck, was added for the Paulson family in the 1960s. This is a large and spacious room with lots of windows and light. Other points of interest are the beautiful oak floors, large fireplace and a bar. The shutters are from the Parkway Restaurant and the spiral staircase to the basement came from the old Citizens Bank.
Take the spiral staircase to the recreation room in the basement. This pleasant area has a sports and game theme: sports memorabilia, foosball, ping pong and a pool table. Go out through the glass doors onto the patio and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the garden and waterfall. This charming family-friendly home is a superb Waukegan gem.
924 County Street
The Foursquare or box type home is characterized by its cubic form and simple, efficient floor plan. Appearing in the late 19th century, it was perceived as an American type and style. This home was built in the early 20th century. It was first occupied by Harvey T. and Mabel Crawford, employees of North Shore Gas Company. The present family has occupied this home for the last twenty-one years.
A lovely English cottage garden, filled with roses, phlox, yarrow, sweet peas and lilies, welcomes you to the front door. The formal entry has charming side glass windows with stained glass inserts beside the front door. Straight ahead a stairway leads to the second floor. The doors on each side of the foyer lead to the other first floor rooms: a living room, dining room, kitchen and family TV room. At the back of the room you pass between built-in wood columns with shelves and into a back hallway. All of the woodwork, built-ins, floors, and trim are original to the house. During renovation the owners found the fittings and pipes for gas lighting and knob-and-tube wiring insulators.
The home is filled with Mission style furniture and family antiques. The back hallway leads to a former servant’s area, which was separated from the family living area by an oak veneer door. What was once a half bath was remodeled into a pantry. The renovated kitchen has exquisite cabinets, counter tops and a window seat, made by a local cabinet maker.
As you enter the dining room, there is a lovely chandelier and display of hand-painted plates along the wall and in the china cabinet. Those interested in the fine details of home building and preservation will appreciate the unusual 6-panel wood doors, with two panels on the back side. Take the front stairway to the hallway on the second floor where again the beautiful wood floors and trim give these bedrooms a warm and restful feel.
The basement holds a pleasant surprise for wine lovers. The owner and his daughter started making wine together after enjoying wine on a trip to Europe. He has continued to make his own wine and constructed his own wine cellar in a corner of the basement.
The family room at the back of the house was once the dining room. At some point, this room was damaged in a fire and half of the room was taken down and rebuilt. It now serves as the TV room and is the exit to a back patio and garden.
Poplar Street And Douglas Avenue
St. Anastasia Catholic Church
629 Glen Flora Avenue
St. Anastasia Catholic School
St. Anastasia Church and School have served the Catholic community in Waukegan for 90 years. In 1926, at the request of Cardinal Mundelein, Fr. John Fleming came to Waukegan to found a new parish for the growing Catholic population in Waukegan. At the time, Glen Flora Avenue was part of Waukegan’s northward expansion, and Fr. Fleming selected Glen Flora Avenue and Ash Street to be the Church’s location.
Groundbreaking occurred on October 10, 1926 and within one year the church/school (currently on Glen Flora Avenue) and rectory (currently on Douglas Avenue) were completed. The dedication of this new church took place on October 23, 1927 with Cardinal Mundelein presiding. The School opened that year in September.
The combination church and school building were originally built in the English Gothic style in the form of a T. The stem of the T was the Church and the crossbar of the T accommodated a superior’s office, an examining room, a parish office and two classrooms. Three more classrooms were located on the top floor. The main floor of the church seated five hundred, and the choir loft would hold another one hundred singers or worshippers. The ground floor of the building was divided into a large assembly hall, serving rooms, lavatory facilities and a boiler room with a central heating plant designed to serve not only the original building but those additions yet to be constructed.
In October 1963 the parish celebrated the groundbreaking of the freestanding church. Cardinal Meyer dedicated this new building, with it distinct architecture, in December 1964. This church, designed by I.W. Colburn in 1964, is a simple brick rectangle with arch motifs embracing in a succession of domed tiers in the corners and along the sides of the building. Two larger versions of this form extend above the flat roof, appearing as towers. The rear domed tier rises over the main altar and carries an enormous cross on its crown. Three smaller arches join together to form an entrance portico.
The walls of the building have a patterned surface due to the fact that some of the bricks protrude half of their length from the flat wall. A portion of the wall is constructed of multi-colored glass bricks and is most noticeable from the interior when the sun shines through them and fills the church with radiant color. The light thus becomes part of the service. The interior repeats the motif of the exterior arches. The red brick, slate floor, glass and wood, mosaics representing the Stations of the Cross, illuminating skylight, and bronze crucifix over the altar give the worshipper the feeling of having entered a medieval monastery. The original church sanctuary and nave were converted into today’s school gymnasium.