Archive for April 2010

A WalkScore shootout - Roscoe Village vs Evanston

Ask people what characteristic they most value in a city neighborhood and they’ll often answer “walkability” or “pedestrian-friendliness.” City dwellers have been known to indulge a presumption that suburban neighborhoods are hostile to pedestrians. That prejudice imay be bolstered when they drive north along Green Bay Rd in Evanston and see scenes such as the... Read more »

A rare beachfront home in north Evanston

“I can’t remember the last time a beachfront property came on the market north of downtown in Evanston,” said Mary Ellen Tainer when she alerted me to a home that’s only been on the market for a few days and has already received several offers. Tainer, who manages Prudential Rubloff‘s Evanston office, is one of... Read more »

A 6-bedroom home in Wilmette's Indian Hill Estates

Wilmette’s Indian Hill Estates is a 170-acre subdivision planned by architect Philip Maher in the 1920s. It’s bounded by Hunter and Hibbard Roads, Lake Avenue on the south, and Winnetka on the north. The area was largely built up in the 1950s and 1960s and features large lots, winding roads, and homes in a variety... Read more »

The first passive solar house in America

The Henry P. Glass house in Northfield is, some contend, the first passive solar house in America. Glass was trained as an architect in Austria in the 1930s but fled to America and became better known as an author, furniture designer and inventor. He’s been called “one of the most ingenious inventors and product designers... Read more »

A Tony Grunsfeld home in Highland Park

Ernest Alton “Tony” Grunsfeld III has designed dozens of homes along the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. Most are in the distinctively modern idiom exhibited in the newly-listed Highland Park home pictured above. The 5 bedroom, 7 ½ bath home is priced at $1,599,000 and listed by Julie Deutsch of Coldwell Banker. So what’s with that... Read more »

A Kenilworth market update - prices fall, homes sell

One of our local correspondents, Prudential Rubloff‘s Taylor Lindstrom, checked in this morning with a report that Kenilworth home sales have picked up. West of the tracks, Lindstrom reports, two homes closed in March and one in April, and another recently went under contract. The deal of the year, she says, was 515 Kenilworth, a... Read more »

Home buyers quandary - Hinsdale or Winnetka?

At recent open houses in Winnetka I’ve talked to several young buyers who were looking in the $1 million price range in Winnetka – and in west suburban Hinsdale. They had as yet developed no strong preference for either location. The only rivalry between Hinsdale and Winnetka that I’d previously aware of was when Hinsdale... Read more »

Dennis Rodkin visits a Lake Forest estate

You can always count on Chicago Magazine’s Dennis Rodkin for a keen eye for architectural detail – and an enviable ability to write a clever headline. Rodkin’s tour of a Lake Forest mansion, listed for sale by Coldwell Banker’s Jeannie Emmert at $7,950,000, is billed as “Lake Forest’s Norman Conquest.” The newly-built home was designed... Read more »

Brisk traffic at Winnetka open houses today

I visited two Winnetka open houses today, and saw a steady stream of buyers come and go throughout the afternoon. The buyers were almost all thirty-something couples with young children in tow, already living in Winnetka or Wilmette, or planning a move from Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The first home was at 397 Sunset Rd... Read more »

Chez John: At home with designer John Robert Wiltgen

Having famed designer John Robert Wiltgen show you around his personal residence is a bit like having Charlie Trotter sit you down in his kitchen and cook you dinner. What inspired the Egyptian motifs you’ll see in his entry gallery and dining room? “The shape of the columns just immediately said to me ‘Egyptian temple’... Read more »