If the builder of an old house came back for a visit, would he recognize the property? That's the bottom line for the Vliet Museum as it evaluates nominees of its Distinguished Home Awards program.
On Sunday the museum recognized its 2008 recipients: four Lake Bluff homes that were renovated, restored or built from the ground up with the village's historic and architectural character in mind. In each case, the judges felt the original builders or architects would feel right at home in the homes. (Click here to read more about the Distinguished Home Award categories and rules.)
The museum gave the "Heritage Award" to the home in the following photo. Committee member Tom Tincher said owners Arlen and Susan Shorey preserved the "Camp Meeting" cottage in a manner that embodies Lake Bluff's significant social history. He added that the property visually projects the character of the Village.
One-story ranch homes are an endangered species in Lake Bluff and other suburbs across America. The Vliet Museum gave its "Restoration Award" to the home of Tal and Carolyn Tribble, who made substantial renovations to the home in the photo below without changing the exterior of the house. It is the second attempt at downsizing for the Tribbles, who refer to the property as a "one-bedroom/one-office" home.
David and Julie Wolf were happily surprised to win a Distinguished Home Award. Initially, the Village's Historical Commission did not want them to tear down their property's original house. But with builder James La Duke, the Wolfs worked with the HPC and Zoning Board of Appeals to create a new, two-story "old-time cottage." The Vliet Museum recognized their new-old house for the "In-Fill Award," a category that comprises new construction in a historic setting. The home, shown below, complements the visual character of the village and is indistinguishable as new.
The Vliet chose the following house for its "Renovation Award," because it felt the renovation of this 1928 Dutch Colonial preserved much of the original house and respected the character and street scape of old Lake Bluff. The home is owned by Don and Adrienne Fawcett (editor of GazeboNews). The architect was Miguel Lara and the general contractor was Bert Sandlin of North Shore Construction.