737 Sheridan Road

Year of award: 
2000
Award category: 
Renovation
Year built: 
1887
Restoration architect: 
Peter Witmer

The spacious grounds on which Edwin Chapin built this elegant English Tudor country house in 1887 originally included the coach house to the north.  A native of Brookline, Massachusetts, Chapin came to Chicago in 1876 and to Lake Forest in 1887. The Chapins lived here until 1903, and Mr. Chapin served as secretary to the Board of Education, as president of the water company, and as a cemetery commissioner.

The second owner was C. Frederick Childs, sixteenth mayor of Lake Forest, who expanded the house and named it Shadow Lawn. During Childs's residency, the house was the center of family activity. Mrs. Childs's sister and brother-in-law lived next door, and across the street lived Mrs. Childs's mother and another sister.  A native of Brattleboro, Vermont, Mr. Childs was an 1899 graduate of Yale and a specialist in stocks and bonds.  As mayor of Lake Forest, he introduced the first macadam pavements to the City. The Childs family moved to 747 East Deerpath in 1927, and the house was subsequently enlarged, later used for classrooms for Bell School, and then owned by five other families.

In 1997 the current owners worked with architect Peter Witmer to renovate the house.  Their objectives were to create a smooth transition among the three levels and to create an addition compatible with the original structure.   Great care was taken to match the elements and finishes with the original design, including using authentic stucco and creating overhead wooden garage doors to blend with the Tudor architecture.