By Ken Trainor
According to a notice in Chicago Magazine recently, Seward Gunderson's home in Oak Park sold quickly and for close to its asking price. The home on the southwest corner of Jackson and Elmwood was the centerpiece of the S.T. Gunderson and Sons development, which extends from Madison to Harrison, covering the west side of Ridgeland, the east side of Gunderson and both sides of Elmwood. A few years back, it was declared the village's third historic district.
This "substantial Victorian," which includes a large third-floor ballroom, was built in 1906. Seward and his family moved in, while his brother George (the other "son") moved in across the street. Reportedly, they would throw dinner parties and cross from one house to the other under a canopy. Dancing in the ballroom ensued.
The house sold in 15 days for $840,000. The list price was $890,000. Roy and Toni Horras paid $260,000 for it when they moved in back in 1992. The youngest of their four children is entering his final year of high school and the Horrases are moving to a smaller home in Elmwood Park.
Realtor Trevor Good of Weichert Realtors, said in the article that they used history as a selling point, and that was one of the prime factors in its quick sale — something, perhaps for other Oak Park heritage homeowners to keep in mind.