The Jefferson Park home built for Chicago’s first Polish alderman is for sale.

JEFFERSON PARK — A Far Northwest Side home built 100 years ago is up for sale to the city’s first Polish senior citizen — and the owners and environmentalists hope someone who won’t tear it down will buy it.

The home at 5318 N. Central Ave has three sides, five bedrooms, a living room and dining room, an unfinished attic and basement, high ceilings and antique woodwork. The 16th Ward is the family of August J. Kowalski, the first Polish Alderman who served 1888-1890.

It is being sold for $449,000.

The home, which sits on an 8,700-square-foot lot, was built in 1907 by architect Henry Clay, said Frank Surt, a board member and founder of the Northwest Chicago Historical Society.

Credit: Redfin
A Victorian two-story home at 5318 N. Central Ave. It has five bedrooms, living room and dining room, unfinished attic and basement, high ceilings and antique woodwork.

According to the Chicago Designer Blog, Clay designed residences in Wicker Park in the late 1890s. Alongside architect Fritz Lang, he helped design several former Schlitz brewery buildings that are now landmarked.

The Jefferson Park home was built for the Kowalski family, Suerth said. Outside of local politics, the Polish-born businessman was general manager of the National Beverage Company brewery for 25 years and treasurer of the St. Joseph Building and Loan Association.

Kowalski was one of the founding members of Our Lady of Victory Church, Surt said. In the year Founded in 1906, it is the oldest Catholic church in the Far Northwest. The church will close its parish in 2021, and neighbors are pushing for the building to become a Chicago landmark.

The Kowalskis, who had eight children, died at home on Oct. 12, 1922, at age 65, and were buried in St. Adelbert’s Cemetery in Niles, Surt said.

Credit: Redfin
The Victorian two-story home at 5318 N. Central Ave has three sides, five bedrooms, a living room and dining room, an unfinished ceiling and floor, high ceilings and antique woodwork.

The house is believed to be the last Victorian-style house around that size, Surt said.

“There were other Victorian houses in the area, and they’re all gone now,” Suerth said.

The Suerth group and Other observers and historians They want to see the house preserved and fixed – and not torn down by a developer.

“It’s a big deal. A quarter acre is a lot,” said Suret of Jefferson Park. “If he wants to live there, it’s worth more to the developer than to fix the house. … But every year, we’re losing houses on double lots.

Credit: Ariel Parrella-Aureli / Block Club Chicag
As seen on July 22, 2022, Victoria’s two-bedroom apartment at 5318 N. Central Ave. It features a three-sided, five-bedroom, wrap-around porch with backyard and unfinished roof and basement.

Real estate broker and homeowner Gina Paterno said Schrantz doesn’t want to sell to a developer. She hopes a family invested in maintaining the property will step in and continue its history.

It can also be converted to a duplex as a multi-family residence, but it will require maintenance such as window pane repair and wood replacement, among other things. According to the details, the interior of the house is in better shape than the exterior.

“I want someone who is private [buy] The property. … I’m looking for a family to raise kids in, to keep in the neighborhood,” Paterno Schrantz said.

The house has been in the Paterno Schrantz family for decades, she said. Her grandparents lived for 20 years until they died. Her family no longer wants to keep the house; She said they put it on the market earlier this summer.

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