While not exactly
frozen in time, this sixty-year-old house in suburban Chicago has survived largely intact due to the fact that it has been continuously occupied by the original and current owners. Modifications are largely confined to furnishings and decor; the house itself is remarkably unscathed since its construction. Thanks to its recent listing on Zillow, we can all admire the many iconic mid-century attributes of this rare survivor…
The sleek lines of the exterior’s side elevation hint at the wonders within. Subtle changes in the masonry at each side of the garage door suggest that the garage may have originally sported two smaller overhead doors.
The front door is downplayed, but not insignificant.
A centered knob with a stylish square plate distinguishes the front door as seen from the vestibule. Fluted glass obscures the view in the expansive windows.
The furniture may largely date to the 1970’s, but the paint colors and distribution on the walls are pure mid-century! The vestibule is to the right.
Looking toward the dining area.
The built-in china cabinet is sleek and sophisticated in comparison to a more recent, freestanding, piece of similar function.
A desk from the 1920’s or ’30’s joins more contemporary furnishings at the far end of the living room.
The spacious family room appears to have received the most recent furniture updates (1990’s?). The wood ceiling gleams as if new.
A newer refrigerator pays homage to the original and pristine stainless steel appliances which remain. A recessed outlet for a wall clock languishes above the Chambers oven.
Drawer hardware and receptacle cover plates — along with wallpaper and flooring — appear to date to the 1970’s. A battery-operated clock above the range replaces the original corded clock above the oven.
A stylish light fixture and Breuer chairs, both c. 1970, update what may be the original dinette table.
Even the sink appears to be original.
The bathrooms are fascinating. The lucite knobs of the cabinet doors are delightfully modern.
Glass blocks were fun mid-century when used thoughtfully as seen here. When revived (and overdone) in the 1980’s they lost a lot of their appeal.
A masculine version of the bath above.
This paneled room could be a bedroom or office. I’m guessing the Eames Bikini chair is an original furnishing…
The rear of the house as seen from the expansive back yard. More photos may seen in the listing on Zillow.
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Looks very familiar to me as I just demolished it mobile home built in 59. No handwringing please as it was in terrible condition (it came within seconds and inches of collapsing on me) but I managed to salvage all original wood mahogany panels, cupboard doors with original hardware and PINK enamel kitchen sink, bathroom sink,tub, and medicine cabinets. Also all the jalousie windows (not practical in Maine ) . The salvage will be used in rebuilding my new home which is a 1980 31′ Prowler travel trailer.
So huzzah for originals. I hope the new owners appreciate it.
I’m a bit late seeing this post, but WOW!!! Too many awesome things to mention but a few include the centered front door knob, the spotlighted art niche to the left of the fireplace, the perfect use of glass blocks to let light in in the bathrooms, the wood ceiling in the family room, and that kitchen!!!! I also love the outlet in the wall for the clock and also the scary outlet in the middle of the island as well.
I totally missed the duplex outlet in the top of the kitchen island… that is scary! The centered front door knob is my favorite detail; simple yet chic. This house is a great example of how high style can be achieved with rather ordinary materials; even the cheesy faux-marble in the bathroom takes on stature when paired with the lucite knobs and ceramic tile. The old adage is true: They sure don’t build ’em like they used to!
And its definitely not GFI wired. Just slice your watermelon on another counter.
I salvaged a door with a similar center knob from the trash. I hope this one has well oiled strong hinges if it weighs as much as mine did. It’s an interesting typical 50s quirk but a cumbersome way to open the door and the latch mechanism is 18 inches long. What could go wrong there?
It gets even dicier when you realize that these latch mechanisms were comprised of two parts: a normal latch and an extension link (up to 21 inches total from edge of door)!
Still, the quality of door hardware was better back then, so I’m not surprised to see that many of these are still around.
What a great find! The good news is that in Lemont it probably won’t be torn down.
Thanks for the good news… it’s in short supply these days!