Jennifer Tennant, Assistant Director of Development Servicesjtennant@barrington-il.gov
Preserving the Historic District: 141 W. Lincoln Avenue
The Village of Barrington is fortunate to be home to many beautiful historic buildings, many of which date back to the 1800’s. The Village is also fortunate to have a great community of residents that call these historic buildings home. Mike and Nicole Malham are two such residents that decided to take on the challenges and rewards of restoring a historic home. The Malham’s have a passion for historic restoration and it shows throughout the interior and exterior of their home. Mike, a local Barrington Realtor and contractor, had the experience and skills which made this restoration possible. Mike completed all of the restoration work on this house, including the beautiful interior by reusing as much of the original material as possible and supplementing with reclaimed wood floors, trim and cabinetry where necessary.
The house at 141 W. Lincoln Avenue is considered a two-story frame gabled ell Folk Dwelling built ca. 1900. For several years prior to the Malham’s purchase, this house was the source of many inquiries regarding demolition. The general state of the house and its lack of curb appeal had potential buyers believing the house was in worse condition than it actually was.
Mike and Nicole welcomed Village Staff into their home for a tour of their restoration efforts both inside and out. Mike explained that the rear of the house had two additions, plus a screened in porch. The porch was removed but the additions stayed. The first addition (circled in red) was added in the 1920’s and originally contained the first and second floor bathrooms. Prior to this addition, the house did not have indoor plumbing. The first floor bathroom is still located in its original location and contains the original bathtub. The second addition, behind the screened in porch (circled in blue) was added about 20 years after the first addition.
Prior to the Malham’s purchase of the house, the existing aluminum siding was removed and the original wood siding was exposed (pictured above). The peeling paint made the condition of the wood look worse than it was. Mike found the wood siding to be in great condition and after a little scraping and a fresh coat of paint he had the siding looking as good as new. Many people interested in purchasing this house before the Malhams believed the foundation to be in poor condition. Prior to purchasing the house, Mike and Nicole had the foundation inspected and were happy to find that it was in good condition and therefore were able to keep the existing foundation block.
The house has all original wood windows, all of which were preserved as a part of this project. As a part of the interior/exterior renovations, several windows were added and two doors were removed. All of the new windows are wood to match the existing windows as closely as possible. The two exterior doors were repurposed, one as a service door on the garage and one as the basement door on the interior of the house. The most impressive aesthetic improvement made to this house is the addition of a new wood porch built entirely of reclaimed wood. The character of the porch is enhanced by keeping natural color of the wood for a beautiful rustic appearance.
The original one-car garage was in poor condition and was removed and replaced with a new two-car detached garage. The simple front gable design is compatible with the folk influences of the house and the exterior siding is wood to match the house. Mike added architectural interest by adding the rake and constructing both the rake and soffit from reclaimed wood. The garage windows are also reclaimed dating from the early 1900’s. Another unique feature of this garage is the overhead door. In an attempt to increase the insulation efficiency of the garage, Mike installed a standard insulated steel overhead door and built a custom wood overlay in order to comply with the material requirements of the Historic District. The end result is a beautiful and unique door that adds architectural interest to the structure. Even the driveway was restored as a part of this project using all reclaimed brick from throughout the Midwest.
The Malham’s have improved the historic character and charm of the Historic District and the Village through the careful restoration of their home. One look at the before and after pictures says it all!
A special thanks to Mike and Nicole Malham for allowing Staff to tour their home and for sharing their restoration story. If you or someone you know has recently completed a restoration project in the Historic District and would like to be featured on the Village website, please contact Jennifer Tennant at (847) 304-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.