List Price: $910,000
The Property: The last work of the innovative west suburban architect Harold Zook, this Riverside house, built in 1948, has had only one owner. That means many of its original features are intact—including the spider-web pattern crafted in glass (in a window) and in stone (above the mantel), as well as the kooky clown faces inlaid into the basement’s linoleum floor.
Zook, a master of making new houses feel like centuries-old, handcrafted cottages, also designed a dramatic sunburst of stone slabs above the front door and a two-story beamed living room with a knotty pine ceiling. He did work in several up-to-date details, including the modernist corner windows, the Art Deco–styled triple waterfall crown molding in the dining room, and the blue panels of vitreous tile in the main bathroom.
Frank and Lorraine Aichinger commissioned Zook to design the house for their half-acre lot when they got married in the late 1940s, says their daughter, Mary Ann Dalaskey. “They loved what he created for them,” she says. “It was so gorgeous and just had a different feel to it than any other house.” (Zook died before the house was finished.) Frank Aichinger died in the 1970s; his widow continued living in the house until her death this past April. Dalaskey and her two brothers listed the house for sale in late August with Joe Kunkel of Baird & Warner.
“It’s an unbelievable time warp to find that it’s so impeccably maintained,” Kunkel says, noting that the cedar shake roof got the thumbs-up from a home inspector. “Every single architectural element is intact,” he says. That includes the wormwood exterior trim, a lovely curved staircase, the chevron-patterned wooden front door, and the basement bar made from a whiskey barrel.
Price Points: Sheltered beneath spreading oaks on a peninsular lot across from a park, this house has endless curb appeal, and the price is in line with other recent sales of four-bedroom historical homes in Riverside. But inside, it’s a bit awkward. Although two of the four bedrooms are close together, each of the other two is isolated elsewhere in the house. A former screen porch, now enclosed, is an amorphous space with no clear use, and the main bathroom, while a gorgeous period piece, may need updating—a task made more expensive if the snazzy vitreous tile is to be retained. But Dalaskey and Kunkel are right to expect that for the ultimate buyer, somebody who walks in and falls instantly in love with the spider-web theme and Zook’s many other crafty touches, those few disadvantages will not dim their ardor.
Listing Agent: Joe Kunkel, Baird & Warner, (312) 371-0986