MainSteet Libertyville's 10th annual Historic Home Tour is June 1
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The Main Street Libertyville Design Committee presents the 10th annual Historic Home Tour Saturday, June 1, featuring 10 homes representing a variety of architectural styles.
Participants can walk, bike or drive the several block area to see these homes. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Seven of the homes will be open for at least a partial interior tour, three will include their gardens, and two will feature their porches.
Included will be the home at 533 Brainerd Ave., where visitors can view the interior of the home and the coach house on the property.
The house was built in 1904 by John Seely Gridley. Two years later, Gridley became cashier of The First National Bank in the building still located at School Street and Milwaukee Avenue, just one block east of his newly built home.
Gridley was also secretary of the Libertyville Trotting Association. The house he built was originally a horse stable, where horseshoes have been found. The house, however, was later converted to a two-flat in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
Wes and Erin Swearingin purchased the property from the Osmund family in 2010 and began restoration and renovations in January 2011 to return it to a single-family house.
While the house was renovated to today's modern standards with more energy efficiencies, the Swearingins incorporated many of the original details into their design to preserve an older aesthetic.
The front porch and metal tower detail were added back to the front elevation. The original stair newell post was found in the attic and restored to the front stairs. All window trims, door casings and baseboards were matched as closely as possible to the originals.
The leaded glass windows in the living room, dining room and foyer were reworked to hang in front of the new windows. The narrow plank oak floors were saved and refinished in the living room and dining room. The floors on the remainder of the first floor were matched to the original.
The built-in china cabinet in the dining room dates at least to when the house was turned into a two-flat. Original wavy window glass was repurposed in the upper kitchen cabinet doors.
The unifying factor to all the houses on the tour is that they are in local neighborhoods and contribute to the distinctive character of the community.
The Victorian-style home at 207 Stewart Ave., for example, was built around 1890. It was converted to a boardinghouse in the 1940s before being returned to its original state. The front porch originally wrapped around the side of the house, and the side portion was removed in the 1990s.
Owners Jeri Burke and Ken Johnson say the porch is a gathering spot for neighbors, and movable porch parties on the block keep them connected.
The tour focuses not only on the historic aspects, but also the personal stories and emotional connections the families have for their homes.
In addition to the private residences, the historical Cook Mansion will also be open during the Historic Home Tour.
A local landmark, the home was built in 1878 by Ansel B. Cook on the site of the first permanent dwelling in Libertyville. Cook died in 1898 and his will instructed that when his wife, Emily Barrows Cook, died, the property should go to the village for library and park purposes.
The Cook Memorial library opened there in 1921 and today, it serves as headquarters of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.
The cost of the tour is $10. Tickets and a brochure describing the homes can be picked up in Cook Park during the tour.
For more information, call the MainStreet office at (847) 680-0336, find them on Facebook or visit www.mainstreetlibertyville.org.
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