“The iconic ‘Pink House’ on Chicago’s West Side is not being demolished, but it also won’t be pink for long, as its new owners have begun a full interior remodel to restore the dilapidated property — and give it a new paint job.
“Debra Kelch, who bought the house at 556 N. Central Ave. in Austin about 18 months ago with her husband and daughter, said construction started last week on the extensive remodel, which will include a complete gutting of the house’s interior, an open floor plan, new roof, new siding and new windows.
“Social media posts claiming the house was being torn down circulated widely on Tuesday, saddening West Siders who described the property as an indelible part of their neighborhood.
“Kelch quashed those rumors Wednesday, saying the family was merely restoring the house in the hopes of putting it on the market, and that the classic Victorian exterior facade, gabled turret and double-deckered, wrap-around porch would remain largely the same.
“‘Everything is going to be kept as original as possible,’ Kelch said. ‘We’re going to try to keep it a beautiful Victorian. It’s too pretty of a design. That’s actually why we bought it.’
“Situated on a large corner parcel at the intersection of Central Avenue and Ohio Street in Austin, the stately, 2,600-square-foot, five-bedroom Victorian gingerbread house has a history that dates back to the late 1800s. In the 1980s, Isiah Anderson bought the rundown property, restoring it to its former glory and repainting the once murky-green building with its hallmark pink-and-white colors.
“‘Everything will be brand new, inside and out,’ Kelch said. ‘The house will be beautiful when it’s all done.’
“Yolanda Anderson, the previous owner, said homes this old often need parts torn out in order to build it back up.
“‘I am positive that they will do an excellent job and bring it back to life better than ever,’ she said. (Asimow, Block Club Chicago, 9/22/22)