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Housewalk Features History & Architecture

Richard Powers, architect, 1928

Richard Powers, architect, 1928

Historic lakefront homes included on the tour

The Wilmette Historical Society is pleased to announce its 25th annual Spring Housewalk on Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. This year’s housewalk complements the Museum’s current exhibit of the same name, “Cooler by the Lake,” by showcasing three magnificent lakefront mansions and the remarkable Baha’i Temple. These homes were designed by three very significant architects for prominent Wilmette families in the 1920s and 1930s and have been lovingly restored by today’s homeowners. Tickets prices start at $40 and can be purchased through the website at or phoning the Museum at (847) 853-7666. All tickets must be picked up on the day of the housewalk, May 20, at the Baker Demonstration School parking lot, 201 Sheridan Road (SW corner of Maple and Sheridan), Wilmette, between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The “Cooler by the Lake” housewalk celebrates the amazing history and architecture of these homes and the Baha’i Temple. Architects include Richard Powers, who also designed the Evanston Art Center; Philip Maher, who is best remembered for the Art Deco style of the Women’s Athletic Club high-rise in Chicago; and Abraham Epstein, whose firm, A. Epstein & Sons, is today one of the largest engineering and architectural firms in the world. One of the homes’ builders was a contractor for the nearby Baha’i Temple, which has just celebrated the 100th anniversary of its cornerstone.

Each housewalk guest will receive an informative booklet about the buildings and the neighborhood. Trained docents will provide additional details of the interesting histories of these buildings and the families who lived in them and the beautiful, inspiring and sometimes quirky architectural elements that give each home and structure its own unique character.

The Spring Housewalk is the Wilmette Historical Society’s annual fundraiser to support the work of the Wilmette Historical Museum. Tickets purchased before May 19th are $40 for Museum members; $50 for non-members; and $25 for high school or college students. Tickets purchased on the day of the housewalk are $50 for Museum members; $60 for non-members and $25 for students. Guests can now purchase tickets on-line by visiting the Museum’s website at, by calling the Museum at (847)853-7666 or stopping into the Museum, 609 Ridge Road, during regular business hours, Sunday through Thursday, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

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