This Historic Wilmette Home Was Moved To Evanston This Morning

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 5, 2015 4:00PM

Drivers in the near north suburbs saw their commutes extended this morning as crews worked to move a historic Prairie-style home to its new home in Evanston, the end of a months-long, two-mile journey.

Architect Christopher Enck purchased Irving House in Wilmette in 2012. It was designed by John Van Bergen, a protege of Walter Burley Griffin and Frank Lloyd Wright, who made Van Bergen his last hire. Bergen opened his own firm in 1911 and settled in Highland Park after World War I. His designs reflected the more relaxed elements of the Prairie style with nods to the changing culture of the time like garage additions. He worked well into the 1930s before becoming a developer with the rise of tract homes. Van Bergen would buy plots of land, subdivide it and sell the smaller lots.

Enck believed Irving house, originally located at 1318 Isabella in Wilmette, was worth saving and was able to purchase the home for $10. It was carefully divided into three pieces last October and moved it to a former Dominick's parking lot, where it started today's move to its new home. Enck said the logistics had him slightly nervous.

"There's been so much up in the air the last couple of weeks, but I'm feeling good that things are starting to come together," Enck said. "With a big undertaking like this there's always some level of unknowns involved with the big day, but I hope everything goes smoothly."

Evanston and Wilmette officials set parking restrictions and detoured traffic along Green Bay Road, Central Street, Crawford Avenue and Glenview Road starting at 6 a.m. for the move.

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