Orrington Avenue Residence


Mary and Richard are only the fourth owner of this 1896 home, located in Evanston’s Northeast Historic District, which was designed by prolific Evanston architect Edgar O. Blake.  They were drawn to the home’s historic charm, but wanted to enlarge and open up the kitchen, which had not been touched in decades, to a new family room and the expansive rear yard.  The challenge was how to join old to new…and the answer was the front porch. We  extended the distinctive front porch around the side of the house, wrapping the addition, as a way to knit old and new together, and to support a sagging, cantilevered second floor addition from the 1920’s that did not fit with the character of the house. The new chef’s kitchen and light filled family room are the heart of family activity, the refreshed wood paneled library and quirky attic space retain the home’s charm, and the structural improvements and new roof help make sure Blake’s gem will continue to beautifully shelter families for generations to come.