1005 East Illinois Road

Year of award: 
Award category: 
Original architect: 
Dwight Perkins (Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton)
Year built: 
Restoration architect: 
I. W. Colburn

Once part of the Mrs. Cyrus H. McCormick (Nettie Fowler McCormick) estate, House-in-the-Woods, the tile roofed Japanese teahouse at 1005 East Illinois was designed by architect Dwight H. Perkins and built in 1916. Mrs. McCormick was the widow of Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. The original structure is a lovely winter-proof version of a cha-shitsu (a small Japanese garden pavilion) adapted for a Midwest climate by replacing traditional bamboo walls with glass and wood. The ceiling of the main room has a pattern of interlocking beams that mirrors the brick-pattern muntin bars in the upper windows, so that the interior and exterior mingle serenely. In the late 1950s, after the estate was subdivided, the teahouse and 1.28 acres of land were sold off. The new owner tapped the architect I.W. Colburn to turn the teahouse into a single-family residence. Coburn embraced the teahouse with a set of one- story connected living spaces. The teahouse continues to function as a great room or enlarged living room for the home with added living quarters and support spaces in the later additions. The current owners of the residence have been awarded a Preservation Award for their continued stewardship and preservation of this one-of-a-kind property.