From theChicago Sun Times

Elgin home honored as one of Chicago’s finest Painted Ladies

ELGIN, IL –  Chris and Rebekah Berry are the proud owners of an award-winniing Painted Lady at 442 DuPage St.  In Chicago’s Finest Painted Ladies & Her Court contest sponsored by Schaumburg-based Chicago Paint &; Coatings Association the couple took the grand prize in the lengtthy-titled category “Best Use of Colors for the Style of the Home Professionally and Unprofessionally Painted.”

Berry said he and his wife had been living just a few blocks away when they bought the DuPage St. home about 18 months ago. They currently rent their former home. “[443 DuPage St.] had been in foreclosure and was empty for about a year,” Berry said. “It was in ruins.”

Painted Lady history

According to information provided by Berry, 442 Du Page St. was built by Oliver and Harriett Hindell for $4,000 in 1889. “The house was built across the street from the site of the Elgin’s first graveyard,” according to Berry’s research. “The cemetery grew to nearly 3,500 graves by the time it was closed in 1945 and most, but not all, of the graves were moved. While excavating for Channing Elementary School in 1968, many caskets and bodies were uncovered.”  Berry also learned that the Du Page property was used as a halfway house for recovering alcohol and drug addicts.  “Up to six adults lived in the home at any given time, each with their own bedroom and padlock attached to the exterior of each door to protect their belongings,” Berry said. “The house certainly experienced a lot of wear and tear during this time with a revolving list of residents moving in and out on a regular basis.”  While apprehensive about the work that needed to be done, the couple also was “enamored with the variety of structural and design elements that made the home so incredibly unique.”

Painted Lady work

Renovations have included a new roof and replacing all of the copper in the basement that had been stolen while the home sat vacant.  “The entire kitchen, from electrical, plumbing and fixtures to cabinetry, flooring and heating had to be replaced,” Berry said. “The upstairs bathroom was also in tremendous disrepair, so we decided to transform it into a second floor laundry room and convert the smallest bedroom on the second floor to a new, more spacious and functional bathroom.”  It took nine weeks of work after purchasing the home for it to be ready enough for the couple and their son, Alex, now 9, to move into the home.  “Over the past two years, we’ve added a brick paver driveway, fence, landscaping, and, of course, painted the house this past summer,” Berry said. “We engaged the services of Robert Schweitzer of to aid us in selecting a color palette that was appropriate for the period and set to work painting.”

That painting project took about 10 weeks to complete. The DuPage Street home was professionally painted by Jay’s Painting. “While work on an older home is never done, the completion of the exterior painting has brought us very close to complete restoration of this gorgeous home,” Berry said.

The Chicago Paint & Coatings Association also recognized other Elgin residents and their contractors for their handiwork. Paul and Jean Bednar and Homework Construction received “Best Use of Color on a Victorian Professionally Painted” honors for the home at 141 Hill Ave. Lewis and Suzanne Sampson and Josh’s Painting won “Best Use of Paint Detail Professionally Painted” for 4 N. Jackson St. And Bill and Colleen Anderson and Josh’s Painting got the “Best Use of Color Combination Professionally Painted” nod for work at 433 Division St.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER – Chicago Painted Lady Contest 2014!

I received an email from a former client who lives in Chicago. They informed me that their house, on which I consulted, had won an award. They were the winners ofGrand Prize the 2014 “Chicago’s Finest Painted Ladies.” This award is issued annually by the Chicago Paint and Coatings Association.  As soon as I receive pictures from the owners I’ll post those in the Portfolio section of this web site.

If memory serves me correctly, this is the third of my homes that have won this award. I want to thank those client for choosig me to assist them build an exciting color scheme for their historic homes and for entering them in the contest.

Congratulations to the Berry family!!!