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Prairie School home by John Van Bergen lists for $1.2M in Kenilworth

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The historic North Shore property combines an impressive architectural pedigree with modern conveniences

Photos by VHT Studios

Aficionados of classic Prairie School design will find lots to like in this thoughtfully updated home on Chicago’s North Shore. Completed in 1922, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom structure was built by notable architect John Van Bergen. He worked directly under Frank Lloyd Wright and supervised construction on famous projects such as the Robie House.

Known as the Barbara Erwin House after the name of its original owner, the suburban Kenilworth home features many of the hallmark traits that define the Prairie School style: strong horizontal lines, overhanging eaves, wood trim, leaded glass windows, and a sturdy masonry hearth. The property also includes a generous rear yard and patio with landscaping by celebrated designer Jens Jensen.

Unsurprisingly, the residence has been modified and upgraded throughout its 96-year history. The once-open veranda has been enclosed and the updated white marble kitchen is likely not what Van Bergen originally envisioned. With that being said, the property retains enough of its early 20th century charm and craftsmanship to still feel special and most of the changes—like the master bedroom’s built-in wood dressers—harmonize well with the Prairie aesthetic.

The Barbara Erwin House was listed by @properties earlier this month with an asking price of $1,195,000. With the median home value in Kenilworth calculated by Zillow at around $1,340,000, the history property is actually on the more affordable end of the spectrum in the exclusive lakefront suburb. Kenilworth, at just 0.61 square miles in size, is Illinois’s priciest zip code.