6515 N. Talman Avenue

From HistoryWiki

6515 N. Talman Avenue, the Niimi House.

Circa: 1923

Architect: Benedict J. Bruns

Contractor: William E. Keller

Original Owner: Fred Kropf

Present (2008) Owner: Ed and Peggy Niimi

This house was on the 2008 Annual House Tour.

This historic Chicago Bungalow was built in 1923 by architect Benedict J. Bruns and contractor William E. Keller. The house cost $6,000. In 1930, according to Census records, the owner was printer and war veteran Fred Kropf, who lived there with his sister Ruth, an estimator at a box factory, and their widowed mother Katherine.

Ed and Peggy Niimi moved into their Bungalow on Talman Avenue in 1975. As a young couple starting out, they liked the convenient access to their downtown jobs. The Niimis were charmed by this home’s original features such as wood floors and trim. They also appreciated the generous size of the bungalow’s living room, with its numerous windows.

Though they didn’t realize it at the time of their purchase, their new living room also had art glass windows on both the north and south sides, which had been paneled over. It was only after Ed and Peggy moved in that their new neighbors told them the previous owner had surreptitiously removed and sold the stained glass windows before the closing. They realized too late what treasures had been lost. But you might say the house ‘paid’ them back. The Niimis found caches of treasure hidden in the basement, in the form of paper money, presumably forgotten by a previous resident. Ed made it a project to recreate the lost art glass windows, and you can see his handiwork in the living room today.

The Niimis have embarked on another project this year (2008), their second remodeling of the kitchen.