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Homes That Go The Distance For Chicago's Stone-Clad Vernacular

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There are many, many Chicagoland single-fams, 4 + 1's, motels, and other buildings that favor a bit of transplanted stone ornamentation, often as rectangular patches of uneven rock — reminiscent of a creek floor. More than a few addresses take the vernacular to another level, pasting rock across much of the facade. Nice as some of these homes may be, they tend to dwell in the working-class housing realm of the outer nabes and 'burbs. It's a 50s thing (and 60s and 70s) and not the show of wealth that larger, more luxurious homes care to bank on. We settled on five representatives of true mid-century stone cladding for today's roundup, none of which stoops to the level of vinyl facsimile (also endemic to the region). All but one are listed well under $300K. knock yourself out!

8615 S Jeffery Ave.
The Size: 3-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,500 sf
The Ask: $179,900
The Skinny: Our personal fave is this Avalon Park number, rebuilt from the inside out with a new second-floor addition, new roof, and new garage. Thank heavens the owner held onto the cobblestone facade and the class and wisdom it imparts (OK, you caught us reaching). New to market, this place is priced very low on account of its Far South Side positioning.

5835 W Byron St.
The Size: 3-bed, 2-bath, 1,379 sf
The Ask: $230,000
The Skinny: Our craziest specimen, this Portage Park bungalow's stone cladding is done up papier-mache style. It covers the lower half of the front facade, sparing the home universal ridicule. Brick and vinyl siding are neutralizing forces. The place looks quite comfy, with many recent improvements and new back deck.

3130 W Hood Ave.
The Size: 4-bed, 1.5-bath, 1,120 sf
The Ask: $219,900
The Skinny: Moving up to West Ridge (West Rogers Park), a small ranch still wears its old metal awnings, and, like its neighbors, abundant jagged stone. The home could use some gentle updating, but in the meantime there's a rec room bar and concrete backyard to enjoy.

5470 W Lunt Ave.
The Size: 3-bed, 2-bath
The Ask: $405,000
The Skinny: This Forest Glen bi-level ranch is the priciest of our hard rockin' listings. Its deployment of rock ornament is more polished and more in keeping with the strategic patchwork seen on many regional mid-century structures (as noted in this post's intro). The home is straightforward, well-kept, and flanked by suburban-style manicured greenery. While close to more urbane neighborhoods (Lincoln Square, West Ridge), this area is built exactly like a post-war 'burb. Takes all kinds.

5245 S Sawyer Ave.
The Size: 5-bed, 3-bath, 929 sf
The Ask: $220,000
The Skinny: Good luck trying to fit five bedrooms and three full baths into a 929 square foot abode. Discarding fraudulence for the moment, you'd probably be doing away with halls and closets.... or just not counting the finished attic and basement. This Gage Park home's facade has closely-knit stone, painted white and with a little more flatness than some. Still, delectable.