“Jay Dandy: We bought the house in June of 2002 and moved in that November. We had been living in a big, Victorian-era house, and this one was equally grand, if not grander. It had soaring 12-foot ceilings.
“Melissa Weber: Also, the rooms were very open and square, as opposed to long and narrow, which is typical of Victorian houses. We were really drawn to the spaciousness of the rooms. It felt more livable.
“Jay: It’s in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area and was built in 1909 for Arthur G. Leonard, president of the Union Stock Yard & Transit Co. We found newspapers from ’09 stuffed in the walls. In the 1930s or ’40s, it was purchased by the Rev. Clarence H. Cobbs, who was a very well-known minister and the founder of the First Church of Deliverance. He was a South Side fixture. We’re told he lived in this house until the late ’70s.
“There are people in the neighborhood who as young kids came to the reverend’s house and had Sunday dinners. [During our renovations], they would stop by, concerned that it was being turned into condos or something. But we assured them, no, we were keeping it a single-family home.
“Melissa: Originally, we were going to renovate the entire house at once, but we quickly realized the exterior was one job, and the interior was another job. The first renovation was in 2004, when we did the exterior.
“We took out and restored almost all the windows—there are 90 windows, in all. We did a comparison between restoring and replacing, and it ended up that restoring was actually not that much more expensive.” (Walser, Spring 2020)
Read the full story at Preservation Magazine
A Chicago Couple Restores a Spacious Gothic Revival, Inside and Out, Lauren Walser, Preservation Magazine, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Photography by Matthew Gilson, Spring 2020.