The Property: This 128-year-old house is in the heart of Old Norwood, a neighborhood on the city’s far Northwest Side. With its curving streets, charming older homes, relatively big city lots, a big park, and a nearby commuter train station, Old Norwood is “the best-kept secret ‘Mayberry’ in Chicago,” says Lisa Sanders, the Coldwell Banker agent who represented…

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Sale of the Week—Chicago’s Old Norwood

The Property: This 128-year-old house is in the heart of Old Norwood, a neighborhood on the city’s far Northwest Side. With its curving streets, charming older homes, relatively big city lots, a big park, and a nearby commuter train station, Old Norwood is “the best-kept secret ‘Mayberry’ in Chicago,” says Lisa Sanders, the Coldwell Banker agent who represented…


Built in 1880, this home came with historical documents along with its quarter-acre lot.

List Price: $1,024,900
Sale Price: $915,000

The Property: This 128-year-old house is in the heart of Old Norwood, a neighborhood on the city’s far Northwest Side. With its curving streets, charming older homes, relatively big city lots, a big park, and a nearby commuter train station, Old Norwood is “the best-kept secret ‘Mayberry’ in Chicago,” says Lisa Sanders, the Coldwell Banker agent who represented this house’s sellers.

A series of additions have made this residence, which sits on a quarter-acre lot, one of the largest of Old Norwood’s vintage homes, with seven bedrooms and three decks. The kitchen and four baths have been updated, but historical parts of the original house, such as the leaded glass china cabinets and the built-in bench seats, have been preserved. The buyers, Jim and Maggie Murphy, lived nearby and were looking at newer houses in Old Norwood and the larger Norwood Park neighborhood that surrounds it. “My husband has always wanted a wraparound porch,” Maggie Murphy says, “so when we saw this, we had to go in, and it was so nice—so fun, so nostalgic—we wanted it.”

Built in 1880, the house belonged to Ralph W. Peckham from 1910 until 1943. Peckham, the excursion agent for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, managed the complex effort to move the Greatest Show on Earth from town to town. Because circus performers often dropped by Peckham’s house, it came to be remembered incorrectly as the Ringlings’ own home, Sanders says, drawing from a hefty book of clippings and other historical documents that a series of owners have kept with the house.

Price Points: The house was on the market for only three weeks, quite an accomplishment in this super-slow time, but a testament to right-pricing—and to the appeal of the house and its neighborhood. Only four houses in the neighborhood have sold for more; the most recent came this past June when a house a few blocks south of this one went for $1,000,045.

Listing Agent: Lisa Sanders, Coldwell Banker, (773) 467-5300

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