45th Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour Continues Tradition of Inspiration 

Our community’s vintage homes and spectacular architecture set us apart from every other Chicago neighborhood, and on Sunday, May 19, from noon to 5 p.m., BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour will showcase five outstanding private residences – three of them with deep roots in area history.  

The Home Tour will begin at Smith Village, a uniquely vibrant senior care community celebrating its 100th anniversary.  

This year’s tour ranges from a Victorian era Morgan Park mansion steeped in history and lore to a modest Depression era West Beverly brick house expanded and completely remodeled for modern family living.  

Homes highlight how owners have preserved the elegance and style of their historic homes; how unique original architectural elements mesh with contemporary kitchen, bath and basement updates; how a modest house can be transformed by efficient and appealing additions and lots more.  

At each house, visitors will enjoy Home Tour hospitality, experiencing tastings from local eateries and brewpubs, decorating ideas, neighborhood history and more.  

Honoring both the past and the present, Smith Village will be the starting point for this year’s tour. The vibrant senior living community is looking back at its beginnings in 1924, first as Oakhaven Old People’s Home and later as the Washington and Jane Smith Home. The historic five-acre site was redeveloped and renamed Smith Village and in 2007, residents began moving into the continuing care community’s beautiful independent living apartments. Among the many amenities enjoyed by residents of Smith Village are the popular Oak Room Pub and lovely full-service dining room, both of which are open for visitors during the Home Tour.   

Visitors curious to get an inside look at some of our community’s most beautiful place are invited to see: 

  • An Italianate mansion built in 1871 by a prominent Morgan Park real estate investor, and once the home of a world traveling University of Chicago geography professor who was a world traveler and brilliant host, opening the home to students and colleagues. In the 1980s, the family in residence redecorated the house using lovely reproduction wallpapers reflecting the home’s Victorian elegance. Current owners have preserved the home’s original integrity while adding updated amenities including a new kitchen and baths.
  • A gracious painted lady Victorian designed by a noted architect. The local businessman then in residence hired architect Harry K. Holsman – another noted architect who may be best known for starting the “high wheeler” car craze — to design a flawlessly seamed addition. Original architectural elements in this house have been pristinely preserved by subsequent owners, including working pocket doors, striking stained glass windows and doors, and a hand carved staircase outfitted with small drawers that hold charming treasures from previous owners.  
  • A Tudor Revival built for a noted financier, construction on this house was completed just weeks before the stock market crash of 1929. No expense had been spared for the exterior and interior detailing that creates a uniquely distinctive elegance handcrafted by master plasterers and carvers. In recent years, owners discovered, restored, and reinstalled intricately decorative bronze light fixtures in almost every room. 
  • Built in the 1880s, the East Beverly Queen Anne Victorian was one of just a few homes that dotted what is now Beverly/Morgan Park. The current owners, like their predecessors, are carefully preserving the handsome original woodwork, floors, windows, and fireplaces. The beauty of those elements is a perfect backdrop to the owners’ outstanding collection of original artwork on themes that range from the iconic to the eclectic. 
  • In West Beverly, a 1930s Cape Cod has been totally transformed into an open concept family home. A reconfiguration of the front of the house and large addition to the back have given a 90+-year-old house a whole new feel. The recent remodeling of the kitchen/family room showcases an island that not only seats six people along one side, it houses ample storage for oversized and seldom used items. The kitchen overlooks a cozy seating area complete with a fireplace, window seats, and bar.  

On Home Tour day, only the south entry at Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Place, will be open. Home Tour check in and ticket sales are exclusively at Smith Village from noon to 3 p.m. Featured homes are open from noon to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin at Smith Village by 3 p.m. Featured locations are not within walking distance.  

Volunteers Needed 

Join the Home Tour team! Volunteers are needed to assist inside the Home Tour homes, directing visitors, answering questions about the community and their house in which they are located, serving food and beverage tastings from local businesses, and generally sharing neighborhood hospitality with everyone they meet. Volunteer shifts are two hours and 45 minutes and volunteers get free admission to the tour on their off shift. To learn more and sign up as a volunteer, visit bapa.org and follow the prompts under the volunteer tab.  

  

How to Get Tickets 

Home Tour tickets are available online at bapa.org/home-tour for $30 in advance or $35 at the door for BAPA members, or $35 in advance or $40 at the door for non-members. 

Information about BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour is available at 773-233-3100, bapa.org, bapa.org/home-tour and on social media. 

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