Monthly Archives: May 2016

What makes a house Colonial?

Many homes in our real estate listings are called Colonial, but few actually are. A true colonial home was built before the 1700s, out of timber, and so very few have survived intact. Those listings, to be technically correct, should read Colonial Revival or Neo-colonial.

Further complicating our discussion of colonials is the vast array of variations in colonial architecture. There are New England Colonials, Georgian Colonials, and French, Dutch, Spanish and German Colonials. All of these variations are due to the different needs of the environment in which they are built and the aesthetic preferences of the people building them. Please visit About Architecture for examples of each style.

Colonial HouseWhat makes them all Colonials, for the most part, are a symmetrical look with a centered front door and windows arranged on both sides with one window above the door. The homes either have a large central chimney or a chimney at each end of the home. Inside the home, there is generally a central staircase leading up to bedrooms off a central hallway. The common areas are on the first floor.

The Colonial style of architecture first emerged in the 1600s. As more Europeans came to America, the homes took on the traditional European styles of their owners with the French style ranging from the formal with elegant furnishings reminiscent of Kings Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI to the less formal French Country. The Mediterranean Colonials might showcase a Hacienda or other influence from that area.

280 S Prospect AvenueVery popular in the northeastern states, the modern Colonial is most like the New England Colonial with a sloping roof featuring a second story that expands over the the lower level, side gables, narrow eaves, wood framed, small casement windows and little exterior ornamentation.

From 1690 to 1830, the colonial evolved into what we now call a Georgian Colonial. The pitch was not so steeply pitched and had minimal roof overhang. It was still square and symmetrically shaped, but had a decorative crown over the front, paneled door and flattened columns on each side. There were two chimneys and five windows across the front. Windows were small due to the scarcity of glass, but dentil moldingeach window sash had nine or twelve small window panes. The dentil molding gave the eaves a finished look. (Click on the picture for more examples of dentil molding.)

As they became popular in England, Georgians started popping up in the Southern colonies. Inspired by the Italian Renaissance and ancient Greek and Roman trends, the style grew in popularity because of pattern books. The Georgian style was adopted by well-to-do colonists, but with less ornamentation than those across the pond. For those who lived in 389 S. Washington Streetthe flood-plagued Mississippi Valley, the French Colonial took hold as it adopted building practices from the Caribbean and the West Indies. These included timber framing with brick or a combination of moss and animal hair, wide hipped roofs that extended over cooling porches called galleries. The living quarters were raised above ground level and thin wooden columns decorated the front. There were no interior hallways and porches were used as the connection between rooms. Doors with many small panes of glass were adopted and soon became known as French doors.

Next time our spot light will shine on a few other styles that you might not have considered a colonial, including the ubiquitous Cape Cod, which graces almost every street in our city. Meanwhile, for more pictures of the wide range of Colonial homes, please visit About Architecture.

The View from 101 York – May 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.

May 6, 2015
National Public Gardens Day at Cantigny ParkGarden Day

Spend the morning at Cantigny Park. Learn about the “Birds of Cantigny” at a presentation at 9:00 am given by Jeff Reiter in the visitor center. At 10:00, tour Cantigny’s colorful spring plantings on a guided tour with Joy Kaminsky.  Finally, at 11:00 am, special guest Dan Benarcik will give a presentation, “Making the Garden Your Own.” Visit for a free parking coupon. Cantigny Park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton.

May 7, 2016
The Pink 5K

Get back in the 5K game with The Pink 5K, a chip timed, CARA and USTAF Certified race. Registration is $35 online by 4:00 pm on May 6, or $40 on race day. Enjoy the Pink Brunch at Pinstripes immediately after the race where runners can receive 10% off their total bill with the proceeds donated back to Open Arms. The race starts at 8:00 am at the Oak Brook Park District – Central Park at 1450 Forest Gate Road in Oak Brook. Registration forms are available here.

May 12, 2016
Bridging the Divide: How We Can Become Stronger Leaders, Citizens and Friends

Bruce Weinstein will present the next installment of the Rudolf G Schade Lecture Series on History, Elmhurst CollegeEthics and the Law. Mr. Weinstein writes an ethics and leadership column for Fortune magazine online, along with columns in Bloomberg Business Week and Huffington Post. His talk will begin at 7:00 pm in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center, 190 Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst. Weinstein will sign his book, which will be available for purchase, after the lecture. Admission is $10, free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available here.

May 21 – 22, 2016
The Chicago Drum Show

The world’s largest and longest running event of its kind, its a swap meet, a drum expo and an drum showentertainment event. There are clinics, demonstrations, raffles, classes, and over 30,000 sq. feet of exhibits. New, used, vintage, and custom drums, cymbals, and related accessories to buy, sell and trade. Admission is $15 per day, ages 5-12 is $10.

The show is at the Odeum Sports and Expo Center located at 1033 N. Villa Avenue in Villa Park. The show will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

May 21 – 22, 2016
Spring Art Festival at Oakbrook Center

View the work of 70 juried artists from across the country at the Spring Art Festival at Oakbrook Shopping Center. Showcasing a variety of mediums highlighting jewelry, fashion, glass and functional art, in addition to painting and photography, the show is free and will run on Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

May 30, 2016
98th Annual Elmhurst Memorial Day Parade

The Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in cooperation with the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst veterans organizations, is sponsoring the Memorial Day Parade. The parade will step off at 9:30 am from the Elmhurst City Centre at Third and York Streets and will march to the Veterans Memorial in Wilder Park for a Military Ceremony honoring our veterans.