Annual housewalk in Mount Prospect features six homes worth a second look

Mount Prospect home a stunning fusion of styles, inside and out

One of Mount Prospect's premiere multifamily properties, a Founders Row townhouse in the community located across the street from village hall and the Mount Prospect Public Library, will be among the homes featured on this year's 35th Annual Mount Prospect Historical Society Holiday Housewalk on Friday, Dec. 1.

Ann and Dan Costello have agreed to open the four-bedroom (plus a den or fifth bedroom), 4,800-square-foot townhouse they have owned for the past three years.

"We didn't have to do much construction when we moved in because the townhouse was relatively new and lovely, but we did a lot of painting and decorating and added many items we purchased while living in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkey," Ann explained.

The 14 Founders Row townhouses' architecture was inspired by H.H. Richardson who was known for his "Richardson Romanesque" style, characterized by its fusion of French, Spanish and Italian features. The townhouse community's look is urban and intended to complement the style of the Mount Prospect Village Hall.

The four-story Costello townhouse (three floors of which will be open for the walk) is amazingly spacious with a massive, 20-foot dark blue velvet sectional couch set before an equally massive zebrawood television and fireplace cabinet in the main floor living room. White faux fur rugs adorn the floor and martini tables are sprinkled in front of the couch.

"I had help from a great decorator who helped me include the treasures we have picked up while living overseas and also helped me furnish a long, narrow space," Ann stated.

Another fascinating use of space is in the kitchen where appliances and countertops sit opposite a 20-foot-long built-in seating area with two round tables that can be opened and joined together to make one table that seats 18. The walls are adorned with blue and white Tiger wallpaper with an Oriental feel and for the holidays the Costellos have added two shocking pink full-size, decorated Christmas trees. The bank of windows behind the seating area are also adorned with three strings of mock old-fashioned Christmas tree bulbs.

Upstairs on the second floor there are two lovely bedroom suites and beyond that on the third floor there are two more bedroom suites used as an office and for storage. The third floor will not be open to the public during the tour.

On the lower level there is a stunning family room modeled after Ralph Lauren's Bar/Restaurant in Chicago with dark blue lacquered walls and ceiling. Contrary to what you might assume, it is not at all dark and foreboding. The high gloss paint effectively reflects light from the brass light fixtures and gives one a lovely feel of entering a cocoon. The rugs here are from Turkey, as are the large floor pillows and the table is an Asian drum.

Tour-goers will also enjoy a small library (transformed into Santa's room for the season), a bedroom suite with Turkish carpets and a lacquered dresser, and two bar areas, including one with a beer and wine refrigerator, hidden by an incredible pair of carved wooden doors the Costellos purchased while visiting Vietnam. Coincidentally, they perfectly fit the 9-foot ceilings in this room. The other bar in the far corner incorporates a gorgeous buffet crafted by Ann's grandfather for her grandmother.

There is also a traditional Christmas tree here, surrounded by vintage light-up Santas, borrowed from Ann's sister's collection.

In all, this annual tour, which runs from 3:30 to 9 p.m., features the interiors of six private homes, built between 1873 and 2013.

Homes that will showcase their interiors this year, in addition to the Costellos, are:

• 114 S. School St., owned by Jeremy and Colleen Nesper

• 201 S. Owen St., owned by Zack and Lindsay Hines

• 221 S. Owen St., owned by Alex and Jennie Moran

• 21 S. Maple St., owned by Don and Pam Dammen

• 17 S. Maple St., owned by Mitchell and Katie Kenoe

• 3B S. Emerson St., owned by Ann and Dan Costello.

All of the homes will be exciting to tour in their own ways, whether because of the historic flavor, lovely decorating or the new construction or renovation work that has been done, according to JP Karlov, Housewalk co-chairperson.

The tour will begin at St. Paul Lutheran Church at 100 S. School St. where visitors can enjoy refreshments and watercolors of the featured houses.

The Mount Prospect Historical Society campus at 101 S. Maple St. also will be open for tours of both the Dietrich Friedrichs House Museum and the 1896 Central Schoolhouse.

Local florists and homeowners will provide the decorations. This year's featured florists are Busse Flowers and Gifts of Rolling Meadows, Mount Prospect Flowers and The Purple Rose of Mount Prospect, Pesche's Flowers and the North Suburban Flower Company of Des Plaines and the Kaleidoscope of Floral Design of Roselle.

Nonrefundable tickets will be sold for $30 each through Nov. 30 at the Mount Prospect Village Hall, 50 S. Emerson St.; Busey Bank, 299 W. Central Road; River Trails' Weiss Center, 1500 E. Euclid Ave.; RecPlex, 420 Dempster St.; Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central Road; Millie's Hallmark, 1024 S. Elmhurst Road; LePeep, 10 E. Northwest Hwy.; and the Dietrich Friedrichs House museum, 101 S. Maple St.

Tickets are also available at Those tickets can be picked up at a "will call" desk located at the St. Paul Church headquarters during the walk.

Last-minute decision-makers may purchase tickets on the day of the walk, beginning at 3 p.m. at St. Paul, at a cost of $35 per person.

"The Housewalk is the Society's largest fundraiser of the year," Karlov explained. "Its proceeds support the many educational endeavors of the Society and help to pay for upkeep on our museum. We urge the public to support our effort to preserve local history through enjoying the Housewalk and our other activities throughout the year."

For more information, call the historical society at (847) 392-9006 or visit

  A Santa suit and boots wait in a sitting room in the boldly appointed basement in Ann and Dan Costello's four-level townhouse in Mount Prospect. John Starks/
  In the kitchen, twin pink holiday trees and reindeer decorate a blue seating area with two tables that can be joined together to seat 18. John Starks/
  A holiday tree decorated with small white lights peeks out at passers-by from the front window of Ann and Dan Costello's Mount Prospect home at 3B S. Emerson St. John Starks/
  A 20-foot sofa in dark blue velvet is topped with holiday pillows in front of the living room's zebrawood television and fireplace cabinet. Twin coffee tables sport holiday decorations in the Costello townhouse in Mount Prospect. John Starks/
  Ann Costello, along with her husband Dan, will open their spacious townhouse in Mount Prospect on Dec. 1 so the public can can see how they have decorated it for the holidays. John Starks/
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