'Historic Value' Prevents Teardown Of Ranch-Style Home

<p>Preservationists have petitioned the city and stopped a homeowner from tearing down the 1950s ranch-style home he recently purchased, citing the home's historic value.</p>
April 9, 2007, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"City officials refused to allow the demolition, saying the house should be saved for its historical value. 'It's really ridiculous,' said Gordon Boras, who paid about $650,000 in 2005 for a house he considers a relic of a bygone era. He estimated it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the 57-year-old house livable -- money he'd rather not have to invest in a home he doesn't like."

"'People want to knock these homes down and build gigantic houses that don't fit in,' said preservationist Joan Gand, who started the campaign to save ranch homes designed by architect Edward Humrich when she noticed them disappearing from her Riverwoods neighborhood."

"After World War II, relatively inexpensive ranch homes became a symbol of middle-class America. Simple on the outside, the homes could be flashy inside, decorated with curved couches, leather lounge chairs, shag rugs, stainless steel toasters and formica-topped kitchen tables."

"Fifty years later, experts say sprawling ranches like the ones built by Hollywood movie stars in Palm Springs are the rage among home buyers from California to Florida."

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Published on Sunday, April 8, 2007 in The Chicago Tribune
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