Route 66 in the News

Home Tour to Take Place on Route 66

2011-08-18 15:59:53

BERWYN, Ill. - The welcome mat will be out at six distinctive homes including a landmark example of Art Moderne architecture, when the Berwyn Historical Society presents its fifth annual Historic Berwyn’s House Tour called “Bungalows and More” Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25, along a 1.5-mile stretch of Route 66. Chairing the event is Sabine Krauss, whose 1920s Craftsman-style bungalow was on the tour last year. She’s been a docent since the fundraiser’s inception.

What type of buildings will be shown and when were they built?

We’re featuring early ’20s to late ’30s. Three are Chicago-style bungalows, (and there’s a) more unusual one, a Tudor, (also) brick, and the Art Moderne, which has wood-frame construction with tile (siding). It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built around 1937. It was inspired from the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933. The architect … was inspired by the simple forms and streamlined (look). The owners are lovers of the ’30s and ’40s through ’50s. You kind of travel back in time when you enter that house. All of them have … some really (wonderful) features.

What will your volunteers be sharing with tour guests?

Each room has a person who focuses on information on the room — architectural or artwork or anecdotes. One of our researchers actually found the granddaughter of the person that lived in the house as a child and young adult. She had anecdotes — how in winter the kids slept on the radiators when it was cold. We try to put in (many) informational things. People really learn something about architectural elements of bungalows. If the owner did some remodeling, what thought went into it — (whether) by someone with modern tastes or someone who has a more traditional (bent). A young woman really wanted to maintain the original kitchen (in one home); however, she did want a dishwasher. She rearranged the kitchen to accommodate it, but you wouldn’t be able to tell it wasn’t original.

The tour sounds rife with enjoyable before-and-after insights.

Two of the Chicago-style bungalows still have all-original woodwork that’s never been painted. (The homes) have nicely maintained, original interiors paired with whatever the owner puts into it. That’s what is so interesting to people curious about the history, (and) for potential owners (or) people that own (property) in the city already. (Their thought is) ‘let me find some inspiration.’

You’ve made arrangements for people who want to bike between homes?

We are partnering with Active Transportation Alliance, (which) will provide (secured) bike racks for the tour to allow visitors to bike between locations.

~Renee Tomell,


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