Katie Dorsey’s 1910 home in Hammond’s historic Glendale Park neighborhood was designed by the wonderfully name Addison Courtney Berry, an architect who also created several iconic Hammond buildings and built two other homes in Glendale, known for its four distinctive styles — Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Prairie and Tudor Revival — all popular during the early 1900s.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, the district is between Hohman Avenue and the Illinois state line, about a mile and a quarter south of Hammond's downtown.
“Earlier in his career Berry worked with Daniel Burnham and was an assistant architect for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago,” says Dorsey, a Realtor and avid amateur architecture historian who has gathered numerous vintage photos of her home and others in the Glendale area and tracked down members of the family that built the home she shares with her husband, Jean Magrou, and their young daughter.
Though “there’s always something to do” including rectifying the sins of previous owners who laid carpeting over hardwood floors (“The thinking in the 1970s must have been carpeting is much better than wood floors,” says Dorsey) and, unfathomably, covered the brick fireplace with a brick façade, Magrou and Dorsey are so dedicated to history, this is the second vintage home they’ve owned in Hammond.
“Historic designations and districts can be a sales point for those who respect historic properties and who truly understand the worth of an old building,” says Brian Poland, director of planning for Hammond who lives in a bungalow built in 1922.
Hammond has other historic districts including Roselawn-Forest Heights, Forest-Moraine Residential, Forest-Southview Residential, and Indi-Illi Park. Landmarks in these include the two-story, Classical Revival style limestone building, built in 1926 that once housed the Northern States Life Insurance Co. and now is home to the Montessori Children’s Schoolhouse. Declared a local historic landmark by the Common Council of the City of Hammond in 1985, the schoolhouse is also on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures and the National Register of Historic Places.
“They’ve always been cooperative in maintaining its historic integrity,” says Poland, noting that school’s interior retains much of its original tile work and its stunning lobby.
The home of Marcus Morton Towle, Hammond’s first mayor who owned a lumber company that supplied the lumber to build the city he planned, is also a city landmark as is another building he built, the Towle Theater, which is still home to theatrical productions.
“Whenever I travel, I always want to look at old buildings,” says Poland, emphasizing the links to historic preservation and local economies and citing places such as Whiting and Galena, Illinois, where history draws people. Indeed, Galena is considered one of the largest tourism draws in the Midwest. “Historic architecture is tied into the identity of the city and connects to the past by the materials and details used. It’s important to keep these buildings and have them be viable and used. That’s the whole idea of community identity—who we were, who we are and who we are going to be.”