“One of Chicago’s oldest houses, a landmark 1850s farmhouse in Norwood Park that was extensively damaged by a fire in 2021, is for sale after a thorough rehab.
“‘It’s ready for its next 100 years,’ said Haaris Ishaq, the listing agent for the John Wingert house on Canfield Avenue, a home whose oldest portion was built in 1854. That section is at left in the image above. Two additions, the long middle and the two-story Italianate section on the right end, were completed by 1875.
“Priced at $879,900, the house has an entirely new, open-plan interior, but all exterior details were either restored or replicated, as required by its city landmark status, Ishaq said.
“Ishaq is a part-owner with a limited liability company, Hazi Enterprise, which purchased the home in its fire-damaged condition in January 2022.
“The March 2021 fire, reportedly started by a space heater, mostly damaged the rear of the two-story section, Ishaq said. Later that year, according to the Cook County clerk, the homeowner sold it for $200,000 as-is to a firm that planned to do the rehab. Soon, that firm ‘gave up,’ Ishaq said.
“Hazi bought it for $213,000 in January 2022, according to the clerk. Restoration required not only repairing fire damage, which is a Volta specialty, but also restoring timbers, cedar siding and other elements of the house that were rotting, Ishaq said.
“The house is a survivor. In 1990, it had been vacant for several years when a developer proposed replacing it with two new single-family homes on the large lot.
“The developer claimed the owners of the previous three decades had allowed the house to deteriorate to the point of being a safety hazard, riddled with dry rot and termite damage, the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin reported at the time. Even so, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks stepped in and denied a demolition permit.
“The house should remain standing, the commission wrote at the time, because it was ‘a physical link between the earliest immigrant settlers of the farming community at one time known as Canfield and the modern, urban community.’
“The Wingert house is not the oldest house in Chicago. The Noble-Crippen-Seymour House, about two miles away and also in Norwood Park, is two decades older. While both are within Chicago city limits now, they were far outside the small city when they were built. The oldest house built in Chicago and still standing is the Clarke/Bishop Ford House, built in 1836 and now located in the South Loop.” (Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/14/23)