A popular architectural style during the 1920s and 30s, Tudor Revival architecture is known for its use of half-timbering, stucco siding, prominent chimneys, and ornamental stonework or brickwork. Steeply pitched gabled roofs, window dormers, and asymmetrical massing are also common characteristics of the exterior design. The charm and craftsmanship continues on the inside with massive fireplaces, wood beams and wainscoting, arched doorways, and stained glass windows. The majority of these picturesque homes are found in historic commuter suburbs or the edges of the city, such as Sauganash. These areas were developed at the same time this style took off with the emerging middle class. While some Tudor Revival homes are massive and opulent, most of them are informal and unpretentious. This American reinterpretation of 16th century English manors comes in all shapes, sizes, and prices.
When one thinks of a grand Tudor Revival mansion, the former estate of Elmer F. Wieboldt, President of the legendary Chicago department store, is probably what comes to mind. The renowned architect Ralph Stoetzel, known for designing “country houses” for the wealthy elite of the North Shore, designed this Glencoe home in 1929 for his client and soon-to-be neighbor. The now two-acre wooded property is located at the end of a cul-de-sac that backs up to the golf course of the Skokie Country Club. Absolutely perfect for enjoying privacy from the home’s multi-level expansive veranda with a pool and spa, as well as a tennis court. Inside you’ll find the house to be tastefully decorated with beautiful historical details like a hand-carved wooden staircase, stained glass windows, wood beams, and coffered ceilings. And the best part? It’s close to Glencoe’s downtown and the Skokie lagoons.
Ever wonder how Arlington Heights transformed itself from a farming community that would ship goods into the city by rail into the commuter suburb that exists today (and the possible future home of the Chicago Bears)? It all started with Bert H. Laudermilk Realty’s 95-acre Stonegate subdivision in 1928. The developer, working with architect Walter Hunemoeder, wanted to create “a bit of English countryside,” so here you’ll find charming Tudor Revival homes located on large lots set on winding streets. Charm abounds at this 1932 residence on a double lot as it has amazing character throughout the interior, including its original front door and floors, the Juliet balcony overlooking the wood-beamed living room, beech wood-panelled library, and vintage pink bathroom. The finished basement, which includes a wet bar, perfectly fits with the style of this amazing home.
There’s more to Schamburg than IKEA and the Woodfield mall. You can find history alive and well at Oakcrest Farm, a local landmark designed by architect F. Clare Hinckley in 1939 when 95 percent of the area’s residents were descendants of the original German settlers of the 1850s. But that changed when gentleman farmers moved to the area, including country and western singer Bob Atcher, who emceed the National Barn Dance variety show. The singing cowboy lived in this ivy-covered Tudor limestone cottage with clay tile roof and walled garden while he served as Schaumburg’s second village president from 1959 to 1975. An exterior detail that stands out is the brick nogging, the brick-infill between the timbers that is laid out in an attractive herringbone pattern. Inside are more charming details, such as the 26-foot-high ceilings with old-world timber beams, the alcove under the oak staircase, and acorn designs in the shelving and hand-forged doorknobs.
The Cumberland section of Des Plaines is a mixture of residential styles set along tree-lined streets, where you’ll find this 1931 historic charmer. An important exterior element of a Tudor Revival home is to accentuate the gable roofline, which you can see here with the parapet, as well as an elaborate, tall chimney. The front door opens up to a vestibule with a powder room — another common feature of these old homes — and in the entry hall is an elegant staircase with a wrought-iron railing. There are period details throughout the interior of the four-bedroom, four-bathroom residence, such as original woodwork, arched doorways, and stone fireplaces. But it’s still great for contemporary living.
If you’re looking for a more modest version of a Tudor Revival home, there are plenty of options for you. Yes, you can still find old world charm at just $165 per square foot. Located west of the Fox River in historic Elgin is a 1932 residence that just received a heritage building plaque from the city’s mayor and Heritage Commission. Full of storybook charm on the outside with its half-timbering and brickwork, the character continues on the inside. The house boasts a customized addition on the back with a black walnut bar, cedar beams, exposed brick, vaulted ceilings, and skylight. There’s ample wraparound deck space to enjoy the gorgeous backyard on the double lot.