List Price: $1.699 million
Sale Price: $1.625 million
The Property: In April 2003, Josh and Dawn Denberg paid $875,000 for a house with an extra-large lot on a charming brick street in Wilmette. (While the house, built in 1917, is clearly by a Prairie school designer, no one knows for sure the name of the architect.) The couple then launched a painstaking renovation/addition project that would nearly double the size of the house, expanding it into the spacious yard. Thanks to the Denbergs’ careful attention to detail, it’s difficult now to tell where the old house ends and the new addition begins. (Take a look at the photos: everything to the left of the front door is new; the rest is original, except for the segment of the porch that runs to the right of the front door.)

The couples’ conscientiousness is evident inside and out. On the exterior, rather than try to compete with the defining vertical trim, they made the new addition stand back (as if ceding the stage to the original), but mimicked the old flared eaves to keep the front consistent. Inside, they added a master suite upstairs with a fireplace and a master bath; downstairs, there is a new dining room and kitchen/great room. (To get a look at how well the Denbergs knitted the kitchen and great room into the original, check out this HGTV segment on the project.

In the end, the couple had a house whose stainless-steel appliances and other modern-day amenities blended seamlessly with the house’s historical spirit. “They did a gorgeous job, and they even added an attached two-car garage, which is rare on an old house in Wilmette,” says Carole Rosenberg, the Coldwell Banker agent with whom the couple listed the house for sale in June.

At that time, Josh Denberg took a job as a senior vice president at McCann Worldgroup, an advertising agency in San Francisco, where the couple had lived previously. Since 2002, Josh Denberg had worked for Leo Burnett in Chicago; his wife, Dawn, is a freelance writer for North Shore and other magazines. Reached by phone in San Francisco, Josh Denberg declined to comment about the sale.   

Price Points: When they put it on the market in June, the Denbergs were asking $1,775,000 for the house. After dropping the price to $1,699,000, they made a deal with a buyer at $1,625,000 in late July. The sale closed August 18th. The buyers’ names are not yet in public records of the sale.

Listing Agent: Carole Rosenberg of Coldwell Banker, 847-835-0236