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.
The stretch of Kenilworth Avenue that falls within Oak Park's Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District is home to many of the village's architecturally most significant houses. In all kinds of weather, tourists can be seen traipsing up and down the block, ogling Victorian and Prairie-style homes. The landmark Edwin H. Ehrman House at 410 N. Kenilworth Ave. may not draw in viewers with a showy façade, but the pedigree of the home makes it worth a longer look.