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LI’s Lisa DiChiera, new owner Chris Enck, and Planner, City of Wilmette Erika Fabisch at the house move on October 10, 2014.




Van Bergen-Designed Irving Residence Moving to Evanston

October 13, 2014

The Irving Residence, Wilmette, (1928; arch. John Van Bergen) has a new owner and was moved to a temporary location, the former Dominick’s grocery store parking lot, on Green Bay Rd. in Evanston. It will be moved to a permanent lot in Evanston in several weeks, where its new owner, Chris Enck, hopes to have it locally landmarked and will undertake its rehabilitation.

Chris Enck, vice-chair of Landmarks Illinois’ Skyline Council, had been monitoring the plight of the Irving Residence for over two years, since Landmarks Illinois first began advocating for its protection and need for a preservation-minded buyer. The house has been purchased in 2012 by a local builder who intended to demolish the house and build two new homes on its oversized lot. After village officials, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and Landmarks Illinois worked with the builder to have a Frank Lloyd Wright Studio-designed cottage on the back of the lot moved by a private individual, the Van Bergen-designed house was retained and rented while a new house was built on the west side of the lot.

In 2014 the historic house was sold to a second builder who also intended to replace it with new construction. After a summer 2014 meeting with village officials and Landmarks Illinois, the second builder agreed to list the house for sale for one month’s time, but due to a high purchase price no offers were accepted By August of 2014, Chris approached the builder about allowing him time to move the structure in order to save it from demolition. After many hurtles, including a last minute change relocation change from a Highland Park lot to an Evanston lot, the main portion of the house was moved on October 10 and the remaining two sections on October 13 to the former Dominick’s parking lot in Evanston.

Chris Norrick, chair of the Wilmette Historic Preservation Commission, expressed regret that Wilmette was losing the historic house to Evanston, but acknowledged it was a better outcome than only having it documented in photos. City officials in Evanston are fully supportive of the home’s move to their city. It will be the third Van Bergen-designed house located in Evanston. Carlos Ruiz, Senior Planner/Preservation Coordinator for the city, stated “City staff and Commission members are following with interest the moving of the house to Evanston and look forward to working with the new owner once the house is located to its permanent site.”


House Move on Flickr

Preservationists cheer historic home’s rescue
Wilmette Life, October 12, 2014

Historic Wilmette House Moved to Evanston
NBC Channel 5 News, October 10, 2014

Saving And Moving The Irving House
PrairieMod, October 10, 2014

Van Bergen House on the Move
Wright in Racine, October 10, 2014

Historic House to be Moved to Evanston
The Daily Northwestern, October 10, 2014

Historic Van Bergen house finds new home in Evanston
Wilmette Life, October 9, 2014

Historic Van Bergen house finds new home in Evanston
Evanston Life, October 9, 2014

Van Bergen House Move Photos
City of Evanston, October 9, 2014


The ongoing efforts to save the John Van Bergen-designed Irving House, and a Frank Lloyd Wright Studio-designed cottage that was behind the Irving House, have been well documented by architectural blogger Eric O’Malley for his blog PrairieMod (link). See the following links:


Saving And Moving The Irving House
PrairieMod, October, 2014

Here We Go Again...
PrairieMod, April, 2014

Two Residences by Three Modern Architectural Masters at Risk of Being Lost
PrairieMod, February, 2014







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