2538 W. Morse Avenue

From HistoryWiki

2538 W. Morse Avenue, Packard/Sanford House.

Circa: 1926

Architect: Gubbins & McDonnell

Original Owner: Paul Kranap

Present (2010) Owner: Gary Packard and Lynda Sanford

Featured in the 2010 Annual House Tour.

The first thing you notice about this Gubbins & McDonnell home is the warm-toned face brick that doesn’t appear elsewhere on the block. Nor does the design of the front façade of the home, with its center Juliet Balconette flanked on each side by tall, multi-paned windows. The vertical effect created by the steep roof pitch and tall narrow windows is reminiscent of an English cottage, in contrast to the strong horizontal lines of Prairie School-influenced bungalows.

Paul Kranap, a hardware salesman, first purchased 2538 W. Morse Avenue in 1926 with his wife, Alice, and young son Paul. A few years later, they added a second son, Thomas, to the family. The home was originally built for $7,500 and was estimated by Paul Kranap in the 1930 Census as being valued at $15,000.

The two-bedroom, one-bath main floor has its original cove molding with picture rail and baseboard throughout. In the living room, you will see the original brick fireplace wall with its arched opening, terra-cotta hearth tiles, and built-in bookcases to either side. What were likely original wood shelves have been replaced by glass shelves, and glass-front cabinet doors were removed. The pair of casement windows above the fireplace are unusual, centered directly above the hearth instead of being positioned above each bookcase.

Lynda Sanford purchased the home in 1991, and has enjoyed creating new leaded glass accents throughout her home. She recently updated the kitchen with granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, glass tile back splash, and new appliances. The vintage style bath was renovated in 1994.

She and her husband, Gary Packard, are accomplished musicians and their home has hosted many successful music jam sessions through the years. They love the quality of the light that streams through the many windows and allows their many house plants to thrive.

Lynda’s home has something in common with Joan Hassmer's house, 2534 W. Morse Avenue. Both houses share a driveway that leads back to a garage behind each home. This is rarely seen in this and many Chicago bungalow neighborhoods, where most garages are accessed from the alley. Be sure to note the beautiful backyards, too, as Joan and Lynda are both avid gardeners.