2618 W. Farwell Avenue

From HistoryWiki

2618 W. Farwell Avenue, the Williams/Burke House.

This house was in the 1999 Annual Fall House Tour.

Circa: 1929

Original Owner:

Present (1999) Owner: ? Williams and ? Burke

The 1929 Williams/Burke bungalow has undergone extensive renovation since the present (1999) owners purchased it in 1995. The home had been poorly maintained over the years and was in great need of restoration. Sanding and refinishing the hardwood floors, stripping and refinishing woodwork, and replacing removed art-glass windows were the owners' main priorities. Restoration, now complete, the owners can now (1999) concentrate on furnishing their home in a way that is sympathetic to the design of the house.

As you enter the house, take notice of the original red terracotta tile in the vestibule and vintage light fixtures overhead. In the living room, you find windows and generous birch woodwork.

French doors lead to the dining room and more interesting vintage light fixtures. The diamond pane art-glass in the dining room has been added to allow more light into the room, but still retain privacy. Peek into the bathroom to see the original white 3-ft. by 6-ft. wall tile and white hexagonal floor tile. Through the cafe-style, swinging door you enter the kitchen where you find a vintage breakfast Inglenook. At one time, the back two bedrooms were made into one large room, which is now used as a family room.

Down the stairs to the basement, you find an unexpected sight--beautiful maple hardwood floors. Most likely originally built as a "party room," its creation might have a link to Prohibition (1920-1933). During these times, many Chicago basements became personal speakeasies where bootlegged liquor could be enjoyed without fear of discovery. Many bungalows in the Indian Boundary area were built with party rooms like this, some with elaborate bars and seating, although very few with hardwood flooring.

In the attic, you find the traditional two bedroom configuration. French doors lead to each room, something that was not uncommon to the area. The walls are painted wood wainscoting that give a Tudorish feel. A small bathroom in the central hallway has been updated and a new oak railing has been added; otherwise, nothing has been changed (as of 1999).