Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Queen Still Reigns in Architecture

We are starting a new series looking at popular architectural designs. Our first foray into the world of architecture will be the Queen Anne style.  Richard Norman Shaw popularized it in England from 1860 to 1900. A type of Victorian design, this style has nothing to do with Queen Anne who died in 1714, but instead builds on the styles of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.

Watts Sherman HouseH. H. Richardson brought the Queen Anne style to Rhode Island with the Watts-Sherman House in 1975. The British government extended that introduction with many more Queen Anne homes built at the Philadelphia Centennial that same year. The Chicago area got its own monument to Queen Anne in 1891 with the William J. MacDonald House, which still stands in Oak Park. With ornately carved oak woodwork, two fireplaces, original murals and stained glass, the house is currently listed for 1.2 million dollars.

The William J. MacDonald House

The William J. MacDonald House

The Queen Anne style includes a host of eccentric features including elaborate trim, deep colors with unusual textures, towers, dormers, slate shingles, copper finial ornaments, multi-paneled stained-glass windows and large wrap-around porches with columns. Some of the more enduring features are the asymmetrical facades with front-facing gables, often cantilevered beyond the wall below with overhanging eaves, second story balconies, pedimented porches, interesting and patterned textures on the walls and Terra-cottar tiles or wooden shingles.

The interiors boast large tiled entryways, prominent wood staircases and paneled walls, inglenook tiled fireplaces, built-in China cabinets and back staircases with outdoor sitting rooms and smaller back service porches.

As the style grew in popularity, factory-made pre-cut architectural parts traveled around the country, ordered from widely-published pattern books. While not happy about it, even Frank Lloyd Wright, early in his career, included Queen Anne characteristics in his homes. One of his first projects was the Walter Gale house built in 1983 in Oak Park. While there are characteristics of the Queen Anne style outside, the inside departs from it with an open floor plan. Here is a more thorough discussion of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ homes, both Queen Anne and his classic Prairie Style.

Commercial buildings also showcased the Queen Anne style. We have several examples right here in downtown Elmhurst. The G. Weber Building at 110-112 York Street is one of the oldest buildings in our town. It was built for Gottfried Weber in 1906 and retains many of its Queen Anne features including ornate decoration and the turret corners topped with pointed tile roof. Starting as a bakery, this building now houses Tannin’s Wine Bar and Boutique. (Photo courtesy of the Elmhurst Historical Museum.)

270 N walnut 1923

Built in 1923, 270 N Walnut.

By the turn of the century, traditional Queen Anne homes, which were expensive and difficult to maintain, were replaced with homes that had less ornamentation, but certain aspects of the Queen Anne endure to this day. Homes with wrap-around porches, bay windows, gables, turret entryways and steep, multiple roof lines still wear the title Queen Anne. Here is a look at homes labeled Queen Anne in our own neighborhood.



Built in 2000, this house stands at 318 S Fair.

Built in 2000,  318 S Fair.

Built in 1948, 354 Elm Ave.

Built in 1956, 183 N Berteau.

If you are interested in learning more about Queen Anne homes, please click here and here to visit in-depth discussions about this beautiful building style. If you are interested in purchasing a Queen Anne home, please call a LW Reedy Realtor to explore your options. They are always ready to help.


The View from 101 York – January 2016

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

Saturday, January 9

Leap Into Volunteering at this Open HouseDuPage Forest Volunteer

Get involved at the DuPage Forest Preserve by choosing from more than 50 opportunities. Representatives from all 11 volunteer programs will be available at Danada Headquarters from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Then enjoy a free one-hour presentation and ask all your questions afterward. Registration is not required. If you have questions, call (630) 933-7681 or click here for more information.

Saturday, January 9

PenroseGallery Talk with Penrose Brewing’s Founder Eric Hobbs

Take a trip to the Elmhurst Historical Museum at 2:00 pm to hear a talk by Eric Hobbs, founder of Penrose Brewing Company.  While you’re there, explore the “Beer Chicago” exhibit and gain a unique perspective on Chicago beer history. Receive a Penrose Brewing tour certificate and than head over to Pints next door to sample some Penrose product.

Sunday, January 10 and 24

Elmhurst Park District: Free Family Open Swim

Bring the family to York High School’s swimming pool between kids in pool1:00 and 4:00 pm and take advantage of this opportunity to splash around with the kids.  As part of a cooperative agreement between Elmhurst Park District and Elmhurst School District 205, the pool will be open for lap swimming, open swim and use of the diving boards. This event is open to all Elmhurst residents.

Sunday, January 10

Navigation: GPS Explorers

gpsTake a GPS -based adventure at Meacham Grove using clues and coordinates and learn about the Forest Preserve’s resident plants and animals. The event takes place from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and is geared for kids aged 6 and older. Those under 16 must attend with an adult. This event is free, but registration is required by calling (630) 933-7248.

Sunday, January 171923-Nabucco

Elmhurst Public Library: Lyric Opera Lecture – Nabucco

Come to the Kossmann Room at the Elmhurst Library between 2:30 and 3:45 pm  for a Lyric Opera Lecture about Verdi’s Nabucco.  Explore the dangerous love triangle behind this masterpiece featuring some of the greatest choral music ever written including the “Va, pensiero” chorus. This is the opera that made Verdi a star. If you love opera, this is the place to be.

Monday, January 18

Auditions for the Elmhurst Choral Union

auditionsIf you always wanted to sing with a full orchestra and have some experience in choral singing, or the ability to read music, openings are available in all voice ranges. To schedule an appointment, leave a message at (630) 758-1100 or click here and a volunteer will follow up to schedule an audition which will include a vocal warm-up and your choice of audition piece. Concert rehearsals begin January 25 at Elmhurst College.

Sunday, January 31princess

Elmhurst Park District: Princess Day at Wilder Mansion
If you have a little princess at home, don’t miss the first ever Princess Day at Wilder Mansion from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Bring your little princess in her most regal robes to make a craft, enjoy a treat and listen to a story fit for her highness. The afternoon ends with a party on the dance floor. The cost is $15 for residents and $20 for non-residents and registration is required.