Maywood Board Votes to Landmark House at 1001 N. 2nd Ave.

Wednesday,  November 22, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a Nov. 21 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to grant local landmark status to 1001 N. 2nd Ave. in Maywood. The village’s Historic Preservation Commission unanimously recommended the home for landmark status on Nov. 2.

Contrary to earlier reports, the house’s date of construction, architect and builder is unknown, but members of the commission said that the home shares many characteristics that belong to the Prairie School of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The commission pointed out, however, that according to a 1922 article in an Oak Park newspaper, the home’s design is attributed to John Van Bergen, a protege of Wright. But no other documentation supports that claim.

Maywood has a relatively high concentration of Prairie School homes, including the Cluever House at 601 N. 1st Ave., the Stahmer House at 704 N. 4th Ave. and the Mrs. Henry Akin House at 801 S. 8th Ave.

“The inability at this time to be able to identify the architect, date of construction, and original owner in no way detracts from the superb integrity, craftsmanship, and strong Prairie School design elements 1001 N. Second Avenue exhibits,” according to the commission’s nomination report.

“Additional research may yet unravel the mysteries surrounding the building of this house,” the report adds. “Even so, there is no denying the elements throughout [the home], inside and out, firmly display the work of a true master of prairie-style architecture, and contribute greatly to the cultural context of Maywood.”

Among those elements are features common to Van Bergen, including the wood trim on the ceilings; a long, low cast concrete fireplace mantel; and a “continuous horizontal band of wood trim above the windows and doors on all walls” (a feature also common to Wright).

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 2.55.19 PMSome photos of the interior of 1001 N. 2nd Ave. in Maywood. The design has many elements common to the Prairie School of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright and his proteges. | Village of Maywood 

The exterior of the home features “simple geometric art glass designs,” a side-facing front entry (a borrowing of Japanese design that is common to the Prairie School) and a southern wall that is capped with a limestone band.

The house, which was originally built by Edward and Noreen Brizzolara, perhaps in teh early 1920s, will be named after the original owners, the report notes.

The architecturally significant home used to belong to the late Eugene “Gene” Moore, a lifelong Maywood resident who was the first African American to represent the 7th District in the Illinois House of Representatives and the Cook County Recorder of Deeds from 1999 until 2012.

Currently, it’s owned by Marshall High School girls varsity basketball coach Dorothy Gaters, a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and among the winningest basketball coaches in Illinois High School Association (IHSA) history.

“This is one of our very significant homes around here,” said Tom Kus, the Historic Preservation Commission’s chairman during a Nov. 7 regular meeting of the Maywood Board of Trustees.

Kus said that Gaters has “put a lot of money into improving this house.” The home is the 24th structure designated a local landmark in Maywood. Seventeen Maywood homes are currently on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Kus.

The local landmark designation, Kus said, will allow the current owner of the home to apply for a property tax freeze. The owner may also be eligible for “income tax credits for historically appropriate renovations,” according to the commission’s web page. VFP

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