Edward L. Thornton, president of the Thornton-Claney Lumber Co., “lived largely and well as a citizen of Chicago,” according to his 1922 obituary in The Southern Lumberman. The home he built at 734 West Hutchinson Street in Buena Park was part of that good life. More than a bungalow but nowhere near a mansion, the Mission-style house (a mode born in California, inspired by Spanish Franciscan churches) is an anomaly in a neighborhood where the Prairie style predominates.

The living and dining room areas

Erected in 1913, and now on the market for $1.399 million, the house was designed by Leon F. Urbain, a local architect whose later projects included the Poinsettia Apartments in Hyde Park, the Kenmore Manor Apartments in Edgewater, and the Beachton Court Apartments in Rogers Park. The property’s period charm is evident in its tile roof, porte-cochère, and inviting entrance steps, which are a confetti-like combo of concrete and colorful tile.

At 5,400 square feet, the house features four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a den with built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and a basement rec room complete with a wet bar and powder room. While the exterior has been landmarked by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, the interior has not, so previous owners have deftly updated the kitchen with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances and the primary bedroom with two walk-in closets and an en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and jetted tub.


Still, the past is present in details such as the central staircase’s substantial newel post and in the stucco exterior with built-in flower boxes. But perhaps the home’s finest feature is the 28-by-22-foot living room, with five big arched windows punctuating three walls. Who couldn’t live “largely and well” here?