1894 – Oak Park, IL – $1,400,000

Status and price shown on OHD may not be current. Check the links below.
Added to OHD on 10/18/20   -   Last OHD Update: 10/18/20   -   25 Comments
For Sale

139 S Grove Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302

Maps: Street | Aerial

  • $1,400,000
  • 8 Bed
  • 3.5 Bath
  • 7600 Sq Ft
  • 0.22 Ac.
Welcome to one of Oak Parks and the Midwest's finest homes. Built in 1894 for John Seaman, an inventor of the automated barrel making process, this 17+ room Queen Anne features unparalleled craftsmanship with original woodwork, 6 fireplaces, 3.1 baths. Gracious living spaces, art glass windows, original built-ins, and grand staircase form an inviting and practical home for today's work at home/play at home lifestyle. ----------------------- Room to live, work and relax in, this home also includes a 1 bed, 1 bath coach house/garage with space for 6 cars. ----------------------- A very bright home, the sun streams through Art Glass prismed windows. Warm, inviting and comfortable, this home provides living space that meets today's work at home with the family atmosphere. Rooms are large and open, but give a sense of privacy and quietude. The living areas are each trimmed in a different exotic wood and the craftsmanship is still clean and crisp and represents the finest of its time. Original hand painted murals still adorn the coves. --------------- For in-depth details Google GrtHomes ------- Comfortable living with plenty of space to spread out, myriad options for where to Zoom work and e-learn, with a huge ballroom space for entertaining or kids to play with friends. --------------- 8 big bedrooms, spacious and refined bathrooms, wide hallways and a feeling of roominess. --------------------- As you walk into the vestibule you are greeted with high ceilings and the Great Hall that is illuminated by a prismed stained glass window, beneath which is lined with cushioned seats. ------------------------ John Seaman commissioned noted architect H.G. Fiddelke to build a 7000+sq. ft. home that was open, warm and unique. The floor plan lends itself perfectly to entertaining or just spending time near the family. -----------------------------The spacious parlor, living room, library and dining room are each trimmed in different exotic, polished woods. Ascend the grand, open staircase to the second floor, where you'll find five bedrooms, two of them with tandems. Three of them have beautiful gas fireplaces. The third floor has an enormous 41 x 25 foot ballroom with three more bedrooms and a full bath. --------------------------- The home sits on a desirable corner lot voted "best four corners in Oak Park". A beautiful block/street with turn of the century charm. Practically downtown Oak Park. Enjoy leisurely afternoons and a cool beverage with friends and neighbors from the wrap around front porch or take short walks to Oak Park's shopping, restaurants or nearby parks. Still longing for the city? Spend the afternoon in Chicago.------------------------------------139 S. Grove Ave is two blocks to Green Line Train and 10 minute walk to Metra providing 25 minute access to downtown Chicago. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Walking distance to Holmes elementary, Brooks middle and OPRF high school. Oak Park is richly diverse in many ways and from the turn-of-the-19th-century has attracted people from all around the world, because of its proximity Chicago, wide-ranging architecture, and its devotion to maintaining an ethnically, culturally, racially and economically diverse population; making Oak Park one of the most unique places in America to enjoy, live-in or raise a family. ---Restored/renewed mechanicals in 1986 (heating, plumbing, electric) by Warren Stewart, one of Oak Park's authorities on authentic restoration. Major recent improvements: Roof-main 2019/garage 2017; Mbr ba with in-floor heat-2018; 3rd fl bath, wet bar-2011; New windows on 3rd floor (Marvin)-2010; New storm windows/doors, whole house (40+ windows)-2012; 2nd fl bath-2011; 1st fl bath- 2014; LL bath- 2012; Tuckpointing- 2019; Coach house ba, kit, bed - 2017; Custom ext. paint, 7 colors - 2006, 2020.-----
Contact Information
Chris Garvey, EXP Realty
312-434-3187
Links, Photos & Additional Info
Listing details may change after the posted date and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Independent verification is recommended.

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type: ,
Period & Associated Styles: , , ,
Features: , | Misc:

25 Comments on 1894 – Oak Park, IL – $1,400,000

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11877 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    This is from a reader that saved and restored this home in the 1980s (he is not the current owner.) From Warren, “I rescued this home in the 80’s from an owner who used it as a rooming house, and planned to tear it down to build a brick 6-unit in its place. I lived there 6 years and won many awards for restoring it.” Thanks, Warren, for sharing your lovely restoration!

    C. 1900

    Before, 1986

    1986

    20
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11877 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      More from Warren, “When I purchased the home in ’86 it was a fully operational rooming house, with numbers on the doors and a pay phone in the hallway. Even the Ballroom had been divided into hotel rooms. There were 17 men living in it aged 40 to 90, and it was Christmas time, so I moved into the dining room, library and front parlors until I could relocate them gradually. The house was so huge I ended up allowing 5 of them to stay, and 3 were still there when I sold the house in 1992. The film “Vice-Versa” with Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage was supposed to be filmed there, but I wouldn’t allow the production company to alter the intact turn-of-the-century decorating, so they chose a more generic home. The National Trust held a catered event in the home a year before I sold it, and it was an evening I’ll always cherish.”

      43
  2. JkleebJkleeb says: 283 comments
    Seattle, WA

    Wow! What an incredible restoration.

    18
  3. natira121natira121 says: 661 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1877 Vernacular
    Columbia River Gorge, WA

    Wow, truely a remarkable restoration! I even like the kitchen! And I’d love to see what’s behind the curved door left of the stove alcove.

    18
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 6648 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Yeah; great kitchen. Top shelf. This house has been VERY lucky over the course of it’s whole life. An interior that well preserved in Chicagoland is nearly unheard of. May it’s luck continue.

      14
  4. MWMW says: 904 comments

    Wow, Warrnen, that is some incredibly impressive work. Only 6 years and a house that huge while you and other people were living in it? Very, very impressive. My hat is off to you Sir. Thank you for saving this house. And not only saving it, but it looks absolutely spectacular. If I had any reason to relocate my family to the area, I’d consider it. I vote Warren OHD hero of the month!

    28
    • Karen SKaren S says: 44 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1923 Colonial
      New Rochelle, NY

      Agree! Thank you Warren for saving this beautiful gem! Definitely OHD hero of the month! It is gorgeous. Thanks for the old pix too!

      9
  5. Wow! Gracious and stunning Mansion! Love all the Rich Beautiful unpainted woodwork! Outstanding Restoration Warren! I hope the next owner appreciates this fine home just the way it is! Rare Gem Indeed!

    11
  6. MichaelMichael says: 2626 comments
    1979 That 70's show
    Otis Orchards, WA

    So nice to see the home as it is now! Really good job of saving this home. Nice artwork on the ceilings and frieze. I like the exterior colors and it looks so much better than the 1930’s asbestos siding. Is that a built-in refrigerator we see in the kitchen?

    10
  7. 67drake67drake says: 269 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1993, hey I’m still looking! Boring
    Iowa County , WI

    Where do I start? Beautiful!
    Paid extra attention to this one as my grandparents lived 8 blocks from here and my church/grade school WERE about 10 blocks from here. Grandparents house was a simple Chicago bungalow. Cross Harlem Ave into Oak Park and it’s a different world!

    9
  8. LadyTexasLadyTexas says: 195 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1979 Traditional
    Plano, TX

    I’ve never seen a faucet on the wall next to a refrigerator. Can’t imagine that. Lovely restoration and glimpse into the lifestyle of the 1890s.

    9
  9. jkmartin941jkmartin941 says: 17 comments
    1963 Ranch
    CA

    Wow Warren I am speechless. Thank your for saving such a beautiful piece of history. If it weren’t you for she would have been lost forever. Thank you so much. She is stunning. I love every detail!

    8
  10. JpedigoJpedigo says: 43 comments

    Omg! This place is stunning! The artwork on the ceiling is amazing as well as the gorgeous woodwork. Warren did a fantastic job on saving the lovely home. I agree that he should be the OHD hero of the year!

    7
  11. Thank you for all the wonderful compliments, but keep in mind that my involvement with the house is ancient history. Judging by the photographs, the current owners have done a magnificent job, not only maintaining the house, but taking it to an even higher level. I’m certain they’ll be as sad as I was the day I moved out of it, but I hope they’ll also experience the same decades of pride I have, knowing they were part of the home’s history, and that they played an essential role in preserving it. -Warren Stewart

    22
  12. Momof9Momof9 says: 93 comments
    1925 Bungalow
    Villa Park, IL

    I have had the great fortune to see this home in person. My daughters babysat for these lovely owners. The pictures are beautiful but do not do this home justice. There is a fabulous back staircase that goes all the way up to the third floor. The grand front staircase is awesome and then you go up to the second floor and see another just as grand staircase. The third floor ballroom is spectacular with three more big bedrooms. Truly a beautiful home!

    9
  13. ctmeddctmedd says: 179 comments

    Wow! Kudos to Warren for the vision to see she needed to be saved. Thanks to the current owners for their continued work to make her a home to be treasured. Hopefully the new owners will appreciate the trust given to them to preserve and maintain this beauty.

    4
  14. ctmeddctmedd says: 179 comments

    Sorry – this home inspired more than one comment. I had to go back to the third floor after reading the comments about the ballroom. Can’t you just see the gentlemen in their finery and the ladies in their long dresses climbing up there? I think I was born in the wrong century! lol

    5
  15. JimHJimH says: 5147 comments
    OHD Supporter

    It’s a wonderful thing that a house of this quality has been saved/preserved/restored. The architect H.G. Fiddelke was previously an employee of J.L. Silsbee (with another guy named Frank Wright), and created many fine homes in partnership with builder Frank Ellis. Interestingly, the house was originally painted white in the spirit of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, aka The White City.

    https://www.ruskinarc.com/oakpark/Village/21056-139%20S%20Grove%20Ave/view

    https://jlsilsbee.blogspot.com/2020/09/henry-george-fiddelke-designing-for.html

    5
  16. Considering it would probably cost 3 to 4 times what they’re asking to reproduce the house, maybe you were born in exactly the right century! I have a wonderful picture of the Ballroom when I bought it posted on my Facebook page. One long hallway with dirty carpeting and 7 dingy doors. https://www.facebook.com/stuart.warren.9803

    6
  17. PhillipPhillip says: 276 comments
    1910 Tudor/craftsman mix

    as all the others have said, a spectacular restoration effort, i am always amazed at the tiny lots that people put these enormous mansions on, of course sometimes the lots were larger to begin with and then sold off, but oftentimes the lots were very small to begin with, i feel that this is in many ways the problem with trying to interest people in being involved with these old treasures, that there is just so little space around them, and that is a shame, because back then there was a lot more room, but perhaps not so much near chicago. Anyway I find myself more and more drawn to the old mansions with at least an acre, you just can’t put a price on what that does for an old mansion

    1
  18. BethHBethH says: 239 comments
    1999 Dutchess County, NY

    Thank you so much, Warren, for sharing your story and pictures with us! This house is breathtaking, and your part in preserving it for future generations should make you extremely proud.

    3
  19. The lot size is actually quite large for Oak Park, which is an urban grid neighborhood, just 8 miles from downtown Chicago. The home and wrap around porch just have a really big foot print. I remember considering removing the spare 3-car garage to increase yard space, but with several nice parks close by, I decided I liked the garage rental income more than I liked yard maintenance. Ironically I ended up on 12 acres in Michigan, so go figure.

    1
  20. GabrielGabriel says: 80 comments
    OHD Supporter

    It’s so beautiful, I’m almost speechless. Did anyone notice the dark green velvet portieres?

    1

Comment Here


To keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents, comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved. Keep topics to the home, history, local attractions or general history/house talk.

Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.
Click here to read the comment rules, updated 1/12/20.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified. Do not contact the agent unless you are interested in the property.