Oldest Homes in Oak Park IL

241 S Home Avenue, Oak Park IL

Looking north Many attribute the home to the Garland family, a maker of stoves used in local homes in the 1800s. A search of local records does not show a Garland family living in Oak Park, but there is a Garling family, whose daughter married a local store owner named Purnell, who was an official dealer of Garland stoves.

Originally constructed on Lake St near Forest Ave. It was moved to its present location at 241 S Home Avenue location after 1855 and is believed to be the oldest surviving dwelling in the the Ridgeland/Oak Park Historic District.

The original section of the house was Federal style. Early modifications include the addition at the rear as well as the veranda. Stucco was applied to the frame in 1910.  Current porch configuration is shown on the 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance map. It was rebuilt 2012. 

The property was owned for 60 years by Abraham Edmunds, a millworker and cabinetmaker. He trimmed the sitting rooms in birch, hickory, and sycamore. Edmunds’ work can also be seen in Pleasant Home in Oak Park (second house to the north)  as well as the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields (now Macy’s), the Continental Bank, and the Field Museum, all in downtown Chicago.

 (Ridgeland Revealed, p24).

638 N Kenilworth Avenue Oak Park IL

The land purchase for 638 N Kenilworth dates back to 1838 and makes this home the oldest recorded home. 

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Oak Park has records that indicate around 1887 by Oak Park, but it said to be the oldest land-purchase in Oak Park. It is thought that the home may be older than 1887.

Once owned by Jacob Christopherson.

638 N. Kenilworth

The brick home at 638 N. Kenilworth Ave. is another example of a home with an indeterminate construction date. Documents point to the lot of land being purchased as early as 1838. Resale records in 1855 show an increased property value which indicates that the property had been improved by a building during that time period. The 1952 Oak Leaves story recounts “old-timers remembering the landmark red farmhouse,” but no further records pinpoint the home’s exact age

105-N-Kenilworth-Ave-Oak-Park-IL-Oldest-home-in-Oak-Park-catagory.  This 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath Folk Victorian home shares a block with Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Unity Temple as well as the historic Oak Park post office building. Dating back to c. 1870

Records that do exist may point to a land purchase or refer to a street name, but in early times, the street names were different, numbering systems weren’t in place yet, and lots referred to as corner lots may not have remained corner lots as the area was further developed. In many instances, it might be possible to come up with a date range but not an exact year of construction.

105-N-Kenilworth-Ave-Oak-Park-IL-Oldest-home-in-Oak-Park-catagory

619 Forest

A modest house, 619 Forest Ave., is a contributing structure in the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District. Exact construction records don’t exist, but the home was built by the Gauglier family, which legend holds to be the fifth family to settle Oak Park. Originally from Belfort, France, Maurice and Catherine Gauglier were thought to have moved to the area in the 1850s. The house was once the center of their 20-acre farm at the intersection of Belleforte and Chicago avenues, and it is believed to have been moved to its current location in 1879 or 1880. https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/2-25-2014/This-old-house:-Oak-Park’s-oldest-homes/

Considered by many to be the second oldest home in the village, the Schoff house, at 1122 Ontario St., is believed to have been built in the 1850s or 1860s, but the exact date is hard to determine. According to a 1952 Oak Leaves story on the area’s oldest homes, Herman Schoff, the youngest child of the Schoff family was still living in the home in 1952. He claimed the house was 95 years old and reported that his parents Henry and Marie were married in 1857, moved to Oak Park, built the house on Ontario and gave birth to their first child there in 1858. In a 1989 Wednesday Journal story in which the home was listed for sale, the year of construction was listed as 1864. https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/2-25-2014/This-old-house:-Oak-Park’s-oldest-homes/

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The Carter House

At the corner of East and Chicago avenues, the Carter House is another home that is certainly within the group of Oak Park’s oldest. While an exact construction date is undetermined, it is believed to have been constructed sometime in the early 1870s or earlier. Lipo points out that the 1879 census of Cicero Township shows only 1,608 people living in Oak Park, so there were likely very few homes within the village at that time.

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55
639 N. OAK PARK AVENUE
GEORGE HEMINGWAY HOUSE
Architect: E. E. Roberts
1896/1916, Queen Anne
Designated: 2011
Exterior (House and Garage)

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44
250 FOREST AVENUE
PAUL BLATCHFORD HOUSE no. 1
Architect: Unknown
1887, Stick
Designated: 2010
Exterior

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45
317 N. KENILWORTH AVENUE
WILLIAM A. DOUGLASS HOUSE
Architect: Patton & Fisher
1893, Queen Anne
Designated: 2010
Exterior (House and Coach House)

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47
308 N. OAK PARK AVENUE
RUTHERFORD-DODGE HOUSE
Architect: Unknown
c. 1872, Italianate
Designated: 2011
Exterior

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51
130 S. EAST AVENUE
JOHN D. CALDWELL HOUSE
Architect: George H. Borst
1890, Queen Anne
Designated: 2011
Exterior

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47
308 N. OAK PARK AVENUE
RUTHERFORD-DODGE HOUSE
Architect: Unknown
c. 1872, Italianate
Designated: 2011
Exterior

The Oldest Homes in Oak Park IL
241 S Home Avenue Oak Park IL

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63
200 SOUTH EAST AVENUE
ANDREAS BRISCH HOUSE no. 1
Architect: Frank D. Thompson
1897, Eclectic: Queen Anne/Prairie School
Designated: 2014

The Oldest Homes in Oak Park IL
241 S Home Avenue Oak Park IL

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1
428 FOREST AVENUE
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOME & STUDIO
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
1889, Shingle
Designated: 1996

The Oldest Homes in Oak Park IL
241 S Home Avenue Oak Park IL

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5
339 N. OAK PARK AVENUE
ERNEST HEMINGWAY BIRTHPLACE
Architect: Wesley A. Arnold
1890, Queen Anne
Designated: 1996
Exterior, Interior

The Oldest Homes in Oak Park IL
241 S Home Avenue Oak Park IL

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1122-Ontario-St.-Oak-Park-IL-Oldest-home-in-Oak-Park-1857

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