Oak Park did the right thing — something to be proud of — and addressed an acute need. Affordable housing for single tenants is less than sexy. It is not an issue we like to face, much less have to fight with the some of the neighbors who cried out, "Not in my backyard!"
In recent years, green building techniques have turned the worlds of traditional architecture and construction on their heads. A boom in sustainable building products as well as sustainable building practices have changed the way many see the future of home building.
These awards for outstanding preservation work within Oak Park represent the best projects of the year. Those of us who work with historic properties realize that preservation is a humbling pursuit. It is part detective work, sleuthing through the available evidence and clues as to what was original and what was changed or replaced.
One perk of living in a vintage apartment building is that older buildings were often built around courtyards. In dense communities, a bit of outdoor space offers a reprieve from asphalt streets, concrete sidewalks and rectilinear brick.
Oak Park is home to many historic homes, and each one carries a different story from previous generations. Lucky homeowners often find clues to their home's past, which can open up a window to other eras.
If architecture represents who we are and what we strive to be — living in one of the most imposing homes in River Forest makes a statement. The English Tudor mansion, commonly known as the Grunow/Accardo estate, at 915 Franklin Ave., contains 24 rooms within its 22,000-square-foot interior, erected by the Buurma Brothers for William Grunow, a radio pioneer.
A new state law requires Cook County homeowners to repay property tax bill savings they should not have received. Property owners who erroneously received homeowner, senior citizen, or other tax exemptions have until Dec. 31 to repay the tax savings from such exemptions without interest and penalty. Those who wait until Jan. 1, 2014 will have to include interest and a penalty when repaying unwarranted tax savings.
After years of being based in downtown Chicago, Tiffany Stained Glass has returned to the western suburbs, setting up shop on Desplaines Avenue in Forest Park. The former site of Riggs Auto Shop has now been converted to the ultimate stained glass studio, and owners Pat and Bob Nugent couldn't be happier to be back where it all began.