6815 W. Wolcott Avenue
Built as early as 1891, this home may have at one time or another served as a farm house and later even a funeral parlor. The details seem lost to history. What is certain is that Charlene and Alex O’Connor purchased the home at 6815 N. Wolcott Avenue in the Fall of 2002. The home was in need of an extensive rehab both inside and out.
Over the ensuing years, the O’Connors have assiduously sought to renovate and modernize the home. The most extensive rehab commenced in the spring of 2010. During that time, the home went through a gut rehab. The upstairs, which had been one large room with a semi-private bathroom, was converted into two bedrooms with a shared bathroom. The kitchen was torn out and replaced with modern appliances, cabinetry, and blue-flecked granite counter-tops. During that time, the owners uncovered relics of the home’s past. Including discovering that the original ceiling in the kitchen had been dropped perhaps 2 feet to make room for electrical wiring and the door frame to what may have been the home’s original rear entrance.
Throughout the home, new hardwood floors replaced what appeared to have been original thin plank floors. The back two rooms had walls torn out and replaced. New windows replaced all the windows in the back half of the home. A large picture window with transom replaced a glass block window in the dining room. This dramatically increased the amount of light and sense of openness of the home. The original built-ins in the dining room were stripped of 15 coats of paint and left with a natural finish.
The staircase leading to the upstairs was a last minute addition to the rehab and involved tearing out a wall and replacing a thin attic staircase with the current oak staircase. Central air conditioning and a home air-filtration system were also added.
In 2011, the O’Connors turned their attention to the exterior of the home. The house had been painted black. The O’Connors chose a multicolored palette to accentuate some of the Victorian elements of the face of the home.
Although the history of 6815 N. Wolcott Avenue is shrouded, what is clear is that over the last 11 years, the O’Connors have striven to mark this home with their own sense of personality all the while attempting to remain faithful to its mixed historical legacy.