A historical Andersonville greystone enhanced by an architecture fan

A teacher who was an artist at heart embellished this 1904 three-flat designed by George Pfeiffer, who worked on the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. It's for sale at $1.25 million. Take a photo tour.

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The most visible addition owner Ron Flores made to the facade is the caryatids, the sculpted female figures at the top of the turret. His widow, Kathy Klink-Flores, isn't sure what the caryatids are made of, but Flores painted them to look like the green patina of old bronze. Like his other additions to the facade, she said, they were installed securely, in the interest of both permanence and safety.

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The building’s carved parapets are original, but the stone figures atop them are additions made by Flores. The ornate tableau he created is the reason “people’s mouths drop open when they stop and look at this house,” Klink-Flores said. “People stop all the time. If I’m ever lonely, all I have to do is go outside and somebody will stop to talk to me about the house.”

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79彩票注册网址The house has abundant original woodwork that Klink-Flores believes was never painted. She’s fond of its glossy amber hue, which Flores complemented with a band of metallic gold paint. The front door is one of several spots where there’s handsome old stained glass that has been well cared for.

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79彩票注册网址The living room fireplace is substantial, framed in carved wood, and more carvings hang above the main rooms’ doorways. Klink-Flores said some details, including the fireplace surround, may not date to the original construction of the house but may have been added later. “It’s a mix of styles from different eras,” she said.

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With beams overhead, stained glass windows, and a big built-in china cabinet, the dining room “is elegant,” Klink-Flores said, “but it feels homey. It’s not ostentatious.” Between the living and dining rooms is a set of pocket doors.

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The yellow and blue stained glass in the far windows of this sitting room may be a nod to the Swedish origins of Andersonville, Klink-Flores said, though it’s not certain, because the original owner was from Denmark. All the glass, the arched ceilings and the built-in bookcases are original, she said.
 

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“This room was my husband’s attempt to re-create Versailles,” Klink-Flores said of the second-floor turret room, where he installed a plaster applique in picture-frame shapes. “It’s supposed to be baroque or rococo, but I call it Ron-esque."

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79彩票注册网址The shapes of the top of the turret are filled with mirrors, and suspended below them is a chandelier Flores made. Although professionally a schoolteacher, “he was an artist and sculptor at heart,” Klink-Flores said.

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79彩票注册网址This bedroom, one of the building’s seven, is a typical small room from the time the house was built, but it’s the one Klink-Flores prefers because it looks onto the side yards of two paired greystones. “To wake up with that bay and look out to the open lots and my tree in the backyard— it’s nice to wake up and see nature,” she said.

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Flores created the fountain out of remnants from several greystone buildings. It’s shaded by a towering elm tree, a rare survivor of the disease that wiped out millions of elms across the country during the 20th century. Its broad root system played a role in protecting the greystone next door from demolition; neighborhood activists believed construction there would irreparably damage the roots. For that reason and because the tree spreads shade beyond her property line, “I don't think of that as my tree,” Klink-Flores said. “It's the community's tree.”
 
 

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79彩票注册网址Flores built a circular patio from old Chicago street pavers. “When streets were being dug up, he’d go salvage those pavers because otherwise they’d go into the dumpster,” Klink-Flores said. Some of his collected building fragments were still in the yard at the time the photos were taken.

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79彩票注册网址With its historical character intact, the early 20th-century greystone “is what Andersonville used to be like,” before a 21st-century wave of new construction, Klink-Flores said. It’s a three-flat that could be reconfigured into one or two units, or remain three. Whatever happens, she said, “I hope somebody appreciates it the way my husband did.”

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This greystone Andersonville three-flat was already impressive in the mid-1970s when Ron Flores bought it. He went on to enhance it, adding sculptural pieces to the facade that make it more ornate and transforming a two-story section of the turret into a lavishly trimmed homage to the palace at Versailles.
 
Over the course of about 40 years, “my husband never stopped adding pieces of sculpture or stone or decoration to this house that he loved,” Kathy Klink-Flores said of her late husband, who died in 2010. Thanks to his embellishments, she said, the Berwyn Avenue greystone “stands alone. There’s nothing like this.”
 
Built in 1904, the building is one of a pair on the block designed by George Pfeiffer, an architect who worked on the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and other Chicago buildings before moving to Miami. Not much is known about the client Pfeiffer designed the building for, Christian Christensen, though a big C carved in the pediment above the front door memorializes him.
 
The building is a three-flat, and Flores lived at different times in one or the other of the two apartments, Klink-Flores said. He meticulously preserved the home’s stained glass and original woodwork, decorated the side yard with stone remnants of historical buildings and built a fountain, patio and other features out of architectural salvage.
 
Both Klink-Flores and Flores were teachers (she’s retired), and after they married in 1999, they divided their time between his and her Chicago homes and together managed their rental properties, including the units in this building. In 2017 Klink-Flores participated in a neighborhood effort to prevent a developer from demolishing the partner greystone next door, built in 1908 for John Christensen, brother of Christian. Both Christensens were in the liquor and saloon business, according to a 2017 report published by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks.
 
Klink-Flores has removed most of Flores’ collection of artifacts from the property, which at 50 by 125 feet is twice the width of the 25-by-125 standard lot size in the city. The rest of the home she has kept as Flores embellished it, hoping a buyer will appreciate the marriage of his flourishes with the historical details. The kitchens and three baths need updating. Configured now as a legal three-flat, the building has seven bedrooms.
 
79彩票注册网址 Klink-Flores is asking $1.25 million for the property. Listing agent Keith Goad of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago will have the home available as a private “pocket” listing beginning Dec. 11, and will put it on the multiple-listing service Jan. 13.

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