A Winnetka home with the look of a Zook

Although I’d been past it 100s of times I never paid attention to the home at 1487 Tower Rd in Winnetka. It caught my eye yesterday, and I instantly thought “it has the look of a Zook.”

Homes designed by R. Harold Zook are a familiar sight in Hinsdale, where 31 of them were built and many survive.

Two months ago I posted on a probable-Zook I’d passed in Western Springs, and quoted a Tribune article on the distinctive features of a Zook-designed home. The Tower Rd home exhibits several of those features.

An Internet search turns up no references to Zook homes in Winnetka.

According to public records, the Tower Rd home was built in 1929, the year after the opening of Zook’s art deco Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge. The home sold for $812,500 in May of 2006, went into foreclosure two years later and resold for $480,000 in October 2009. At the time of resale it was questionably described as a “Swedish village style home.”

Whether or not the home is an authentic Zook, it’s more aptly described as a Cotswold Cottage, a style that’s also referred to as a “storybook house” or a “fairy tale home.”

Is anyone up for naming the architectural style of the home next door, pictured below, at 1479 Tower Rd?


  • Glenn 4 years

    So funny I ran across this. I had too passed this home hundreds of times running calls and always loved it. There is another down the nearby side street. Anyway I finally threw the camera in the van and decided to grab some shots.

    Am I mistaken or was that house just to the east also a similar style in the past? It’s notable and I sure would think I would have remembered it. It almost looks like they redid the thing with a second floor.

  • Adrian 4 years

    it is not a Zook, I know. I live in 1479 Tower road. it was made by a Swedish immigrant and architect in the columbian expedition. I can provide more details if you request. yeah the houses (all 5) are made in a swedish style but not ancient nordic stone or wood just a swedish style as you may call mushroom houses, gingerbread houses, or doll houses. The design links it’s roots in German, English, Dutch, and Scandinavian Styles… these are a Scandinavian type.

  • Adrian,

    Thanks for the info.

    I’d be grateful for any additional details you provide.

  • Julie Windsor 3 years

    Andrew Paulson built these 5 swedish storybook houses on the corner of Tower Road & Greenwood Avenue starting in the early 1920’s.

    The first one was called the rainbow log house at 900 Greenwood, sadly the current owners have updated the inside and removed many of the originial art & features that make these houses special.

    The second house is on the corner at 890 Greenwood and still has most of the original art and fixtures inside, including the sugar pot styled fireplace. The third house is hard to see because it is hidden behind the others at 902 Greenwood, it is also the smallest, but has some wonderful special features like a begger’s log, romeo & juliette ballcony and the sugar pot fireplace. Next came the Red Title Roof house at 1479 Tower, which was built for a chicago family as a summer house in the mid 1920’s.

    After that the last house with the layered roof was built and it has a great griffin walking staircase and a swan lake mural in the main room.

    These houses are really works of art, as Paulson was a mural painter that came here to do swedish murals in the columbian expo in 1895 and when he built these houses this part of Winnetka was part of the edge of a swamp area with nothing to the west of them…just open land-

    • Sheridan B 3 years

      Julie, what is a beggar’s log?

  • Adrian 2 years

    Sorry it’s a bit late… If you are looking for Zook homes there are two on tower in a similar style (of the houses in this style 5 are paulsons, 2 i’m not sure, and 2 i know are Zooks’)

    There are the 5 on this site

    The zook houses are beetween burr and gordon terrace on tower road on the south side

    The other two are the lola lyold house on the corner of cherry and birch north side of the road (455 birch street to be frank)

    One at the corner of winnetka road and sheridan road north side of the road