The Daily Northwestern

Evanston History Center opens historic homes to public for Mother’s Day

Evanston History Center volunteer Ellen Wagner on Sunday afternoon observes the architecture and design of a house built in 1893 in the 1300 block of Judson Ave. This house was part of the Evanston History Center's annual Mother's Day House Walk, which opens some of Evanston's most historic homes up to the public.

Ciara McCarthy/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston History Center volunteer Ellen Wagner on Sunday afternoon observes the architecture and design of a house built in 1893 in the 1300 block of Judson Ave. This house was part of the Evanston History Center's annual Mother's Day House Walk, which opens some of Evanston's most historic homes up to the public.

Ciara McCarthy, Assistant City Editor

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Instead of enjoying brunch at home, some Evanston residents spent their Mother’s Day wandering around strangers’ houses.

For the 38th year, the Evanston History Center hosted the annual Mother’s Day House Walk, which opened the city’s most historic homes to the public for the day.

This year, the walk showcased architectural styles through Evanston’s history to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary. The homes were built between the 1850s and 1968.

“One thing people really like about Evanston and the architecture is that on one street you might find a Victorian house, a Prairie house, a mid-century house, all on the same street,” said Eden Juron Pearlman, executive director of the center, 225 Greenwood St.

She said the walk was an opportunity for people to experience and share the city’s diverse architectural landscape.

“People really pride themselves on living in an old, historically significant house,” Pearlman said.

Christoph Bruns, one of six homeowners who opened their houses for the walk this year, said he and his wife decided to get involved after participating for more than a decade. His house, built in 1893 in the 1300 block of Judson Avenue, exemplifies the “double house” structures that were popular in Evanston in the 1890s, according to the Evanston History Center. Double houses were built with a partition down the middle to allow multiple families to live in the building.

Pearlman said Evanston has so many impressive properties because some of Chicago’s most prominent architects chose to build their homes in Evanston.

Mid-century architect David Haid, a collaborator with Mies van der Rohe, built his home in Evanston in the 1200 block of Michigan Avenue. Haid’s home, which was part of this year’s walk, features a simple design made of brick, glass and steel.

Former Evanston resident Janet Iltis said Haid’s was her favorite house on this year’s tour. Iltis, who has participated in the tour every year for 12 years, said the Mother’s Day House Walk is one of her favorite Evanston traditions.

“I love looking through people’s houses, to be perfectly honest,” she said with a laugh.

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About the Writer
Ciara McCarthy, In Focus Editor

Ciara is a Weinberg senior majoring in American Studies. Her past positions at The Daily include editor in chief, managing editor, city editor and reporter....