525 Broadsmoore

Year of award: 
2015
Award category: 
Heritage
Original architect: 
Otis & Clark
Year built: 
1909
Restoration architect: 
John Eifler (Eifler & Asociates), 2007

Built in 1909 as a summer place for James Ward Thorne and his wife, future miniature-room artist Narcissa Niblack Thorne, the house is a French- Baroque style chateau designed by Otis & Clark. By the 1930s, subsequent owners demolished the south wing and open porch to reduce property taxes in an era when the maximum income tax rate had been raised to 91%. The current owners purchased the property in the early 2000s and began planning for its rehabilitation, including reconstruction of the original south wing using the 1909 Otis & Clark plans. Working with award- winning Chicago preservation architect John Eifler and his team, the owners restored the house and created a new compatible perpendicular northeast wing adjacent to the kitchen and family room. The new wing steps down in classic hierarchy-of-form manner to one and a half stories. The Broadsmoore property was awarded the rare Heritage Award, in recognition of the owners' faithful stewardship and their remarkable project that encompasses a number of award categories including preservation, restoration, reconstruction and rehabilitation.