Designing and Building Your Dream Home

Remodeling an Historic Home

In this show we make the case for creating your dream home from an historic home, a Landmark home. These are properties built from the 1950’s back to the Victorian homes built in the 1800’s. Remodeling Landmark homes is not for the faint of heart, and yet, those who undertake this journey will be rewarded with a home that will be recognized by all as an architectural treasure in their community.

Our distinguished guests, Stuart Cohen, FAIA and Julie Hacker, FAIA; practice residential architecture in the greater Chicago area. Their expertise is in taking gorgeous historic homes and remodeling them to serve the needs of a modern family; while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic features which make these homes. One-of-a-kind, works of art.

Remodeling an historic home, is a lot different from remodeling other homes. Landmark homes are often located in recognized historic districts. To maintain the character of that community, you will typically find the city has appointed a committee to oversee any proposed changes, to any property located in the community. And, proposed changes which could affect the exterior of the home, are especially frowned upon.

Julie and Stuart walk us through some of the things that you should be aware of, and how best to handle them. For example, is the work you are proposing for this historic home best classified as a remodel or a restoration? Should the proposed changes to the historic home be indistinguishable from the existing home, or should it be clear which portions of the home are original to property and which components are new? What role does contextualism play in the remodel of an historic home. You’ll hear answers to these questions and others in this program.

Stuart, a professor of architecture, also shares a little history of residential architecture in Chicago and helps us to appreciate how much beauty Landmark homes add to a community, and, how truly fortunate you are if you get to call one of these gorgeous historic homes – yours!