Arthur Heurtley House Oak Park, IL

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Peter Beers*
Written By Peter Beers*

This is the other perfect home on the tour.  It was built by Wright in 1902 for Arthur Heurtley and his family.  Over the years, the owners made additions and changes to the house that deviated greatly from Wright’s design.  The owners spent $350,000 for the home a few years ago, and over $1.2 Million on the renovation.  The house had the perfect balance between historic restoration and the modern conveniences that make living in a home like this possible.

The home was built in 1902 and is a few houses down from his home and studio on Forest Avenue.  It is one of many Wright homes on the street, but definitely one of the most impressive.  The door arch is a wonderful throwback to his days with Louis Sullivan.

I can’t say enough about the restoration on this house.  I bought the video for the restoration.  I’ll add some facts after I’ve had a chance to watch it. :)

The attention to detail in the renovation work done on this home is absolutely amazing.  The owners are working to recoup some of the renovation costs by publishing a video about the house and its renovation.  I bought a promotional copy and I was impressed with the professional production work that went into making it.

The lower sun porch had been closed in and made an addition to the playroom.  This enclosure was removed and the windows were restored.  The porch off the master bedroom had been closed in for a dressing room and large master bath.  These were also removed.

Serious amounts of archeological work went in to researching what the house looked like when Wright completed it in 1902.  The paints that Wright had originally used were quite vibrant, but not at all durable since they were water based.  A lot of work went in to discovering what the original colors were.

The interior work was done with a level of precision and authenticity that I can’t even believe.  The original wall plaster had sand in it to give texture.  The sand that is currently available has grains that are too large to be authentic.  To remedy this, they trucked in 2000 pounds of sand and stored it in the first floor to dry.  They then sifted it by hand to get rid of the big grains.  That gave the perfect size sand grains for the plaster.   Amazing!

The entire outside of the house was power washed and scrubbed to get back to the original color of brick.  Only after this cleaning did the owners realize that two colors of brick had been used on the house.  When you look at it now, it is obvious that the colors are very different.  That gives you an idea of now much dirt and grime there was on the outside.

May 2003

Another front view: May, 2003

Front Detail: May, 2003

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Written by Peter Beers*

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.