Simpson Dunlop House, 417 N Kenilworth Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, USA

The Story

Simpson Dunlop hired architect E.E. Roberts to design what’s known as “everyone’s favorite house” in Oak Park in 1896. Dunlop was a grandson of Oak Park founders Joseph and Betty Kettlestrings. A Chicago native, the owner of the Simpson Dunlop House passed away only 3 years later, in 1899, at only 42 years of age.

The Simpson Dunlop House: a Perfect Queen Anne-style House

The house represents a perfect example of a Queen Anne-style home and reflects the transition from Victorian to Prairie style. At first glance, we can find the main trace of Victorian style in the turrets and complex roof lines which convey a “doll house” look. We can instead admire the Prairie style in the porch, which extends horizontally, breaking the typical verticality of Victorian houses. The home, which has experienced renovation over a long time, still boasts an entry vestibule with an original mosaic-tiled floor and tiled wainscot. But that’s not all: it also features six sets of pocket doors, five original fireplaces, and a dining room embellished with oak woodwork.

The many Owners of the Simpson Dunlop House

The house saw many owners come and go through the years. Among these, we find Dr. Charles Kramer, a well-known psychotherapist. In 1994, a married couple bought the house and lived in it for over 20 years, doing extensive renovation work. 

The Simpson Dunlop mansion was sold again in 2019 for $1.8 million.




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