Searching for a home in Arlington Heights, Brian and Horeya Czaplewski wanted something within walking distance to the train and close to the village's downtown area. But they also wanted some curb appeal.
Turns out, the young couple -- he is an IT project manager and she is a commercial architect -- got much more than they bargained for when they bought their charming, red frame home eight years ago.
If you goArlington Heights Historical Society's 21st annual House Walk & Tea
When: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, June 8; tea is served 1-3 p.m.
Where: Start at the museum grounds, 110 W. Fremont St.
Cost: $30 for house walk, $15 for tea
Deadline: Must register by Thursday, June 5
Info: (847) 255-1225, or www.ahmuseum.org
They learned from neighbors their house is one of three on the block built through Sears' mail-order program, called Modern Homes. Reportedly, theirs is the "Barrington" model, which was a French-styled home built in 1927. Others on the block are the Dutch model and a German one.
"We both loved the house," Horeya says. "It looks like a doll house."
Now, the couple is sharing their historic home -- with its original hardwood floors, original glass door knobs and ceiling fixtures -- with the community.
The Sears mail-order model is one of five houses featured in Sunday's Arlington Heights Historical Society's House Walk & Tea.
Some of the others include a recently renovated 1923 bungalow, a 1930 colonial filled with antiques and bold art work; as well as a pair of new construction homes, both designed by local architects that reflect the Arts and Crafts movement from the late 19th century, but with modern day amenities.
Kerrie Berry of Arlington Heights and her husband, Bill, purchased one of the new construction homes seven years ago and they agreed to have it included on the house walk.
"We liked that it was new construction, but it didn't have that cookie cutter feeling," Kerrie says. "There are lots of modern architectural touches, like the trey ceilings, thicker moldings and higher end finishes. Plus, it's got a more open layout."
Patrons on the house walk tour will notice some of Bill Berry's antiques showcased throughout the home, that were passed down through generations -- a dining room chandelier from the 1930s, a stained-glass window in the entry way and vintage photos.
Carol Frieburg, development director for the Historical Society, said it is a good choice for the walk.
"We always look for a combination of houses that have historical interest and a variety of décor that people can appreciate," she said.
This will be the 21st year that members of the Historical Society are sponsoring the house walk and they say the format fits with their mission.
With some of the area's oldest homes preserved on their museum campus -- the Muller house was built in 1882 and the Banta House in 1908 -- the opportunity to promote historical homes that have been preserved and updated in the community is a natural extension.
"We have other fundraisers, but the house walk is a good fit for us," Frieburg adds. "Plus, we've been doing it for so long, that people plan on it."
Each year, it draws nearly 500 patrons to the museum campus, who pick up their booklets with the addresses and description of the houses, before they set out to explore the homes, which generally are in clusters of the same neighborhoods.
Guests also can return to the grounds at some point during the afternoon for tea and finger foods, accompanied by soft harp music. Funds raised, Frieburg added, go toward the preservation and acquisition of the museum's extensive collection.