• Before It Hits The Market
  • A vintage Riverside charmer

    "Stately and built like a fortress, but amazingly comfortable to live in,” the 4,000-square-foot house is on over half an acre in Riverside’s historic section blocks from the center. It's for sale for $1.1 million. Take a photo tour.

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    79彩票注册网址

    Two historical architects contributed to the looks of this home in Riverside, or three if you count who laid out the suburb’s curving streets in a way that enhanced the natural beauty of the setting.
     
    In 1899, prolific architect designed the house on Nuttall Road, filling it with picturesque arches, wood trim and glass. About a decade later, owners Harriet and Seymour Edgerton, who had received the home brought in Prairie School architect to do some remodeling, particularly in the master bedroom.
     
    The result is “this magnificent house that we fell in love with,” said Vijay Palani, who with her husband, C.K. Palani, a physician, has owned the house since 1984.
     
    “It’s stately and built like a fortress, but it’s amazingly comfortable to live in,” she said. That’s thanks to a big front porch from which the couple watched their boys run around on the deep front lawn, to numerous leaded-glass windows that fill the home with daylight, to inviting built-in benches in the dining room and other spots.
     
    When the Palanis bought the house 36 years ago, becoming its fifth owners, the interior was far darker and heavier, because of thick draperies and carpets. All they had to do was make it lighter, Vijay Palani recalled, “is take all of that out.” Over the years they’ve updated the utilities, roof and other systems, but they’ve diligently maintained the historical character of the home.
     
    The house, a little under 4,000 square feet, is on over half an acre in the heart of Riverside’s historic section, with distinguished houses by Frank Lloyd Wright and others as its neighbors. The town’s Metra station, fanciful water tower and parkland along the Des Plaines River are all within a few blocks’ walk, and the Brookfield Zoo is a few minutes’ bike ride west.
     
    With their children grown, “the house is too big for us,” said C.K. Palani, a surgeon, “and we’re spending some of our time in Florida.” The couple put the  house on the market last spring and in August took it off the market. They will put it back on the market Feb. 2 with a price reduction, to $1.1 million. It’s represented by P.J. Duffy of @properties.

    See more homes in our Before It Hits The Market series.

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    79彩票注册网址Built-in benches and pillars create an inviting inglenook around the brick fireplace in the living room. The quarter-sawn oak floors are original, protected for an unknown number of years under carpeting. Because many original details were intact and visibly in good shape when the Palanis bought the home, “we knew that when we removed carpeting and wallpaper, we’d find good quality underneath,” said Vijay Palani, formerly a real estate agent and now retired.

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    The house, designed during the transition from Victorian to Prairie, sits well back from the street in a neighborhood of tall trees and impressive vintage homes. CK Palani said “sitting out on the front porch is very enjoyable in the evening. We could relax and watch our kids run around.” Olmsted, who with Calvert Vaux designed Central Park in New York and Chicago's Washington and Jackson parks, laid out Riverside to have a similarly naturalistic feeling. 

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    After passing through a weather-blocking vestibule and the hefty front door, visitors are in the house’s stately foyer. Now bright and inviting, this space was imposingly dark with wallpaper when the Palanis moved in. They bought the house for about $275,000 in 1984, they said.

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    This photo shows the geometrical leaded glass in the vestibule windows.

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    Still in the foyer, this view shows the pair of wood-trimmed arches opposite the vestibule that frame the gracious staircase, as well as the high wainscoting that also runs through the living and dining rooms. The carpet seen on the stairs was removed after this photo was taken, and the wood on the steps re-finished.

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    The main rooms are large, anticipating the many guests who might have ridden a train out from Chicago when Riverside was still a semi-bucolic suburb. The large windows on two sides play off the abundant woodwork, Vijay Palani said. The dark element of the wood mediates the bright sunlight, and vice versa, she said.

    @properties

    In the dining room, an oval-framed nook with built-in benches “is so cozy,” Vijay Palani said.  The light sconces in the room are Sheffield silver and are likely original to the house, she said.
     

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    Owners prior to the Palanis expanded the kitchen space from what had been a butler’s pantry and a small kitchen designed to be used only by servants. They updated cabinetry and appliances, although a new owner might give it another whirl.
     

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    The master bedroom fireplace is the work of Drummond. Originally it closely resembled the living room fireplace, Vijay Palani said, but Drummond was brought in to give it a then-fashionable Prairie Style look as he made other changes to the master bedroom and sitting room. He dropped the mantel and made a rectilinear composition punctuated with globe lights. The original brick fireplace designed by Silsbee is probably still there behind the redo, she said.

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    At the top of the stairs, the banister becomes  a curved bench that is one of the most subtly family-friendly features of the house, Vijay Palani said. It’s so inviting and comfortable that “kids want to come out of their rooms to sit there.”
     

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    79彩票注册网址There’s even a built-in bench in the basement rec room.

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