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posted: 6/29/2012 5:00 AM

Centennial Crossing reminiscent of earlier times

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  • The homes are inviting on Ranney Avenue in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood of Vernon Hills.

       The homes are inviting on Ranney Avenue in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood of Vernon Hills.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Nearly 200 two-story and ranch homes set amid beautiful landscaping make up the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.

       Nearly 200 two-story and ranch homes set amid beautiful landscaping make up the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Donnelley Park is one of several parks and playgrounds in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood.

       Donnelley Park is one of several parks and playgrounds in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Residents enjoy the pond along Huron Street.

       Residents enjoy the pond along Huron Street.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Ranney Park is one of three parks in Centennial Crossing.

       Ranney Park is one of three parks in Centennial Crossing.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • The homes are inviting on Ranney Ave. in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.

       The homes are inviting on Ranney Ave. in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Donnelley Park in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.

       Donnelley Park in the Centennial Crossing neighborhood in Vernon Hills.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Sherry Giewald

If you yearn for yesterday, Centennial Crossing in Vernon Hills offers a traditional neighborhood design reminiscent of the close-knit neighborhoods of the early 20th century.

The neighborhood feels like a charming East coast village with the quaint houses and white picket fences, said Julie Brown, broker with RE/MAX Experts in Buffalo Grove.

Situated west of Milwaukee Avenue off Route 45, Centennial Crossing features almost 200 homes with front porches and sidewalks amid beautiful landscaping, parks and pedestrian trails. A network of service alleys with most garages behind the homes allow for attractive fronts.

The spacious ranch and two-story homes with basements are well constructed and retain their value, Brown said.

Transferees Hilary and David Schwartz moved from a 30-year-old house to Centennial Crossing almost 10 years ago. They liked the neighborhood configuration and that it was new within a good school district.

"It's a unique place," Hilary Schwartz said. "We love the colors of the homes and that they're not cookie cutters. The models are all named after American authors such as Whitman, Sandburg, Alcott, Hemingway, Hawthorn, Melville.

"We looked at 16 houses in two days in Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove; this was the last house we looked at and the third in this neighborhood. We drifted more this way because of the high school; the school district was a big part of our decision.

"We like the open floor plan and nice open kitchen. My husband is a big foodie and loves to cook. Because we came from a very small kitchen in our 30-year-old house, we didn't want to compromise on the kitchen. We knew a lot of people would be visiting us, and we wanted enough space to accommodate our families."

The neighborhood features a main boulevard with gazebo and a large Central Park and smaller Ranney and Donnelly parks that are very well maintained.

When Hilary and David moved into the neighborhood, their two girls were two and seven, and they soon frequented the popular neighborhood parks. "That's really how we met a lot of the families -- at the park," Schwartz said. "There are a lot of girls on our street, so they always had a lot of friends, and the neighbors are wonderful."

Centennial Crossing sits across from the Metra station and near Route 60, the shopping hub of Lake County, restaurants and entertainment, with easy access to the Tollway.

Recreation is big in Vernon Hills with great park district programs and events, and residents are near the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex (VHAC) with all kinds of ball fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, skateboard park and bike paths.

The Glacier Ice Arena is a state-of-the-art facility with two NHL-size ice surfaces that offer a skating academy, figure skating club, adult hockey league and public skating.

One of the community's well-known attractions is the Cuneo Museum and Gardens where the Cuneo family lived for more than 50 years. Built in 1914 to resemble homes of the wealthy in Venice, Italy, 18 of the 32 rooms are open to the public.

The Winter Wonderland light show on the grounds of the museum is a popular event in the winter.

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