Houses full of history
By Jeanne Millsap For The Herald-News September 6, 2012 12:48PM
This home, owned by Bob Dykes, at 500 Western Ave., Joliet, will be one of the homes on Sunday'sJoliet housewalk sponored by the Cathedral Area Preservation Association. | submitted photo
If you go
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $16 in advance, $20 at the door or $13 for groups of 10 or more (advance sales only)
Tickets: 815-723-7603 or use PayPal at www.capajoliet.net.
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:23PM
JOLIET — The homes on this year’s Cathedral Area Preservation Association’s housewalk include grand historic houses on Raynor, Whitney, Western and Glenwood avenues, and even one place of business — the Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ notable building on Taylor Street.
Bob Dykes purchased his Queen Anne house at 500 Western Ave. not even 18 months ago, saved from years of neglect at a foreclosure sale.
It’s still a work in progress, he said, but is ready for its debut at this year’s housewalk.
“I’ve been putting in 16-hour days trying to get it ready,” he said.
Dykes has spent a lifetime remodeling houses. He decided when he came across this one that it would be the one he would call home.
“It’s my big ole’ dream house,” he said.
He had his work cut out for him with the repairs to the building, and he has already fixed major roof leaks, reconstructed a sagging balcony, replaced plumbing, repaired wiring, reinstalled a wrought iron fence, and refurbished a now fully functional kitchen on the third floor.
The four-story house’s tall tower is lighted at night and rises above a large wrap-around porch. Dykes said he is furnishing much of the house with Eastlake Victorian-era furniture and big overstuffed seating.
He still has the home’s original 1890s tapestry wall covering in the dining room. There is also an English breakfront in the first floor.
This is the 30th year of the housewalk, said CAPA member JoAnn Potenziani, and Dykes’ house will demonstrate the wide variety of homes in the neighborhood.
Dykes said it will most likely be another five years before he has completed all the work on the house, but it will still be well worth the visit at this year’s housewalk.
“They’re not going to see another house like this one,” he said. “It’s one of a kind.”