It's easy to love the many stained glass windows in the 1911 Lombard Tudor, but as the homeowner says when asked about why she and her husband purchased it, "There's just so much to like about this house."
A grape pattern in leaded and stained glass glows on two sides of the built-in dining room china cabinets, not to mention the piece in the door to the kitchen between that pair of cabinets.
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Stained glass roses grace the doors of the living room bookcases, coordinating well with the Arts and Crafts era green glazed tiles around the very tall fireplace with its clean prairie lines.
The landmarked house, famous in Lombard as the "hidden house" because it is in the middle of a block surrounded by other homes, will be one of four open for the annual Kiwanis tour Friday, May 18.
"The home was not in this condition when we bought it 20 years ago," said the home's owner, who asked not to be identified. "This room had red and black flocked wallpaper and indoor-outdoor carpet through the first floor," covering quarter-sawn oak floors, of course.
Pocket doors separate the living room from the huge entry hall, where leaf patterns decorate more stained glass.
And finally visitors climb the open prairie-style oak staircase to the second and third floors, which gives them views of the blue, gold and green bars of stained glass around the edges of the skylight.
House tour guests might have difficulty choosing favorite features.
For some it will be the huge enclosed wraparound porch that overlooks the yard of almost 1½ acres, where the woman of the house has created incredible gardens.
This is appropriate because the property was once a peony farm, and some of those old bushes still thrive. The home was built by Samuel Lumbard, who purchased 90 acres from the Peck family, descendants of a well-known early Lombard family.
And when the acreage surrounding the house was sold off and developed, homebuyers each had nine months to come back and dig up peonies for their new yards, according to deeds the homeowner has read.
She put special work and many different varieties of plants and shrubs into the garden by the driveway because that's part of her view from the kitchen. One treasure here is an antique stone foot bridge that now goes nowhere since a large tree has grown at one end; a fence marking the current property line stands at the other.
Others will top their list of favorite spots with the kitchen, recently remodeled with the home's heritage in mind and with the help of Cary McLean of Designs for Living in Oak Park.
It features white cabinets and gray and white quartzite countertops that match the marble subway tile backsplash. The lights over the island are vintage Halophane, a brand often used industrially, and the homeowner thinks the acanthus leaf design suits the home.
Have you ever heard of an ILVE range? This kitchen has a midnight blue version of the Italian creation, chosen for its two ovens and old-fashioned appearance. Along with the collection of blue and white stoneware and pottery, it demonstrates the homeowner's love for the color scheme.
But there are more details in the "don't miss" category.
•How about all the woodwork, which is quarter-sawn oak and includes different treatments such as beams in the living room.
•French doors seem to be everywhere in the house, and there is even a French pocket door from the first-floor office to the living room.
•On the second and third floors, sleeping porches and a bathroom have the original terrazzo floors, and some of them look new. The kitchen had a darker version of that historic polished treatment with chips of marble, glass or other aggregate, but that floor received heavier use over the home's century and could not be saved.
•Everything -- such as the numerous picture windows -- seems oversized, probably to fit the scale of the very tall ceilings, many of which hold original light fixtures. Check out the one in the dining room with silver plate over brass.
Twenty years ago when the couple decided to buy the home, one of its many selling points was the woodwork had not been painted like in the family's previous Lombard home. It did require cleaning, however, and the homeowners and relatives carried buckets and buckets of vinegar and water.