One-of-a-kind houses can be defined as rarities, constructions you wouldn’t find anywhere else. The photographs of Gladstone Park’s one-of-a-kind houses are not like that. They’re more like curiosities for our neighborhood.
Some of the pictures found here show houses that were one-of-a-kind custom builds when they went up. Many of these newer houses mixed features from many styles so they are like hybridized flowers: charming blends of a number of species that can’t, by themselves, be easily identified.
Other dwellings may have been altered to such a great degree that remodeling has erased their roots and just left them…unique. Clues to their origins can be had by looking at their approximate building dates. If their brick sides were were left intact, as was often the case, some of these can be further analyzed by looking at the original structure of those windows and walls.
But some of the photographs here display houses that are just uncommon in Gladstone Park. Drive out to a 1950s/1960s suburban development and you’ll find split-level homes in great numbers. But it’s an unusual construction in this northwest Chicago neighborhood. That’s because there were few vacant lots left when the split-level home craze was in swing. Dutch Colonials, bungalows, English Tudors, Georgians, Cape Cods, American Foursquares, and two-flats had already filled most of the community.
Likewise, ground level ranches on slabs or with partial basements are rare in Gladstone Park. So are houses with integral (attached) garages even though they’re a dime a dozen in the suburbs. That’s the reason why photographs showing these are placed here.
Historical Note: You will notice the Brick and Frame Colonial here has a registered date of 1869, predating the few remaining (English-style) Victorians and (German-style) Gothic Revivals in Gladstone Park by about 20 years, potentially making it the oldest dwelling in the neighborhood. If anyone has any background information on this house or any others that may be similar ages or older, please contact the author.
For more on how Gladstone Park’s standout stock of homes were built and serve to enhance residential life in the neighborhood, see Development and Vintage Home Living.
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