7053 N. Ridge Boulevard
Original Owner: Andrew B. Jackson
Intermediate Owner: Thomas Jackson
Stanislaus Kempner, 1917.
Gary and Sean Brown purchased this home in 1991, and sensitively restored it to its post-bellum grandeur. This historic and architecturally significant house is known as the Jackson-Thomas Landmark House. It was designated a landmark by the Chicago Landmark Commission on Tuesday, October 16, 1984.
This fine example of an 1870s suburban house was built for one of the first settlers in the community and combines elements of Italianate, Second Empire architecture, and neo-Greek design. It is a two-story, single-family, frame residence, situated on a large, heavily foliated, inclined, corner lot measuring approximately 188-ft. wide by 175-ft. deep, running along the top of the natural ridge followed by Ridge Boulevard.
The house is "T-Shaped" in plan and measures approximately 43 ft. wide by 50-ft. deep. The cross bar of the "T" appears to be the original portion of the house. The entire house is raised on a basement. As the lot slopes dramatically from west to east, the basement constitutes an entire story. It appears to be of concrete and is unusual in that it is adorned with cast pilasters which "support" the building sill made to resemble a Doric architrave in a manner similar to that of the porch.
Distinctive architecture abounds in this ten-room, four bedroom, 2-1/2 bath, two-story, frame residence. The shallow mansard roof with deep eaves is supported by large ornamental brackets. Brackets similarly support the crowns of the double-hung windows. A Colonial Revival porch spans the front and accents the central pavilion. Projecting bays, single windows with hooded arches, and stilted-arch window groupings add visual interest and admit light to the handsome interior spaces, many of which contain highly ornamental neo-Grec moldings, and plaster decorations. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout reflect the light cast by the original electrified gas fixtures.
The library boasts a splendid marble fireplace mantel and opens to the solarium through French doors crowned by a decorative plaster frieze. Ornate plaster moldings, ceiling decoration, and window and door surrounds create an elegant effect. Two crystal chandeliers grace the exceptionally large living room featuring an original door and window valences, refined wall and ceiling moldings, three-light sconces, and French doors opening to the porch.
Formal dinners or more casual family dining are a joy in the beautiful dining room. A coffered ceiling, together with plaster pillars, garland frieze, and intricate moldings combine with a row of tall windows to make a handsome setting. French doors open to the solarium, and the adjacent kitchen features a butler's pantry and a breakfast room.
The second floor offers four bedrooms and a study/sitting room and is also accessible by a rear staircase from the kitchen.
This gracious residence includes a modern security system. Among its truly unique features are the basement with its twelve-foot ceilings and wonderful hobby room spaces plus an original tempered-water system installed to provide water to the garden's rhododendrons.
Note: Descriptions of this house are based on information submitted to the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks, December 1983, and from a publication from the Cyrus Realtors, 1992.