2200 W. Pratt Boulevard

From HistoryWiki

2200 W. Pratt Boulevard, Nally House.

This house was part of the 1996 Annual Fall House Tour.

Circa: 1920

Architect: Norman Wolcott Cook.

Contractor: G. Cassidy.

Original Owner: James B. Jackson.

Second Owner: Mr. Bloomfield from 1921-1925.

Third Owner: George Gannon from 1925-1935.

Fourth Owner: Byron Cain from 1935-1944.

Fifth Owner: Dr. Halpern and Dorothy from 1944-1968.

Sixth Owner: Frank Duggin from 1968-1887.

Present (1996) Owner: Jim and Alida Nally. (1987-?)

Approaching the house at 2200 W. Pratt Boulevard from Pratt Boulevard can be very deceptive. What seems to be a moderate-sized Colonial Revival house with a center entrance is actually a large (3,200 sq.ft.) residence with a western side entrance. The triple city lot (75-ft. by 180-ft.) creates an expansive property site making it perfect for outdoor activities and a large family.

The original building permit shows that the house was built for James B. Jackson in 1920 with N. Cook as the architect and G. Cassidy as the contractor.

Mr. Bloomfield was the second owner of 2200 W. Pratt Boulevard, from 1921-1925. Bloomfield promoted vaudeville shows and police balls. He was related to the owners of the Bloomfield Shirt Company of Ohio.

George Gannon was the third owner of the house. He bought it in 1925, but lost it because of the Great Depression in 1935. Sister Mary Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, was one of the four Gannon children who grew up here. She went on to be the 6th president of Mundelein College.

For the next 9 years, 1935-1944, the house was the property of Byron Cain, the president of the Uptown National Bank. Cain sold the house in 1944 to the Dr. Halpern, D.D.S. and his wife, Dorothy. Dr. Halpern was the company dentist for the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company and the couple were prominent at Brunswick.

In 1968, the home was sold, once again. This time to Frank Duggin, who also had five children. The Duggins lived there until 1987.

In 1987, the house was again sold. It was purchased by the present (1996) owner: Jim and Alida Nally.

The facade is all "brushed" face brick with dark shutters in the front, wide prairie-style eaves and a cross hipped roof. All the windows are new (1996) and energy efficient. The most distinguishing feature is the semicircular colonial front porch with a faux front entrance and a balcony above.

The fake entrance was once real and led into the living room, effectively killing any hope of furniture placement on the wall. Now the room is spacious with an Art Deco fireplace backed by mirrors covering the original leaded art glass windows, still visible from the outside. Much of the antique furniture was purchased from Mary Mertens Thiry.

The "new" side entrance foyer was originally a mud room and down the hall was an old fashioned maid's room and bath that has been turned into a new-fashioned den/home office for Alida and Jim. The dining room is refined and typical of the home's traditional decor -- many of the furnishings were purchased from local house tour sponsors. The kitchen was gutted and fully modernized in 1992 with top-of-the-line counters and appliances. During the remodeling, some of the Bloomfield family papers were discovered between the floor joists (reminiscent of how the Society's iconic birchwood forest photograph was found).

In 1936, Byron Cain updated the living room fireplace and walled over the center entrance. His real masterstroke was the rear "great room" addition, a stunning 19-ft. by 23-ft. entertainment space lined with rare Honduras Mahogony, curved and banded like a streamlined Art Deco ocean liner. The western wall is lighted by a large glass block window, very period, opposite a custom wet bar. The ceiling is quite unusual, hand carved cork with the designs highlighted with brown paint. There is a large fireplace for winter warming and, for Cubs fans, a row of Wrigley Field seats.

To the rear of the great room, through a pair of French doors, is a screened-in porch with a view of the large backyard and two-car garage. Upstairs there are three good sized bedrooms plus a den/solarium over the kitchen.