Edgeville Buzz

Andersonville’s Iconic Castle On Berwyn Is On The Market For The First Time In Almost 50 Years

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It has become one of the Andersonville’s most photographed sites and has entertained onlookers as they stroll along Berwyn Ave. since it was built in 1904. Now for the first time in a half century, the iconic Castle on Berwyn is up for sale.

Ron Flores bought 1430 W. Berwyn in 1975 and quickly began to add his stone carving collection to the outside of the property. Salvaging the carved stone pieces from buildings that were being torn down from the 1960’s through the 1990’s, Flores would proudly add to his unique obsession over the years until he passed away nine years ago.

Though some neighbors were not happy with the landscaping choices, most others would gawk at the ornate sculptures that seemed to blend in awkwardly yet seamlessly with the ornate exterior of the home. Last June, Flores’ widow Kathy Klink had to make a hard decision to sell off the carvings because it became difficult to maintain them.

Since then Berwyn Ave’s Castle has lost most of the eclectic pieces that helped bring the property to its well-earned popularity. And like those carvings, the large home has itself become too difficult for Klink to maintain.

“It has been a long process and this has not been an easy decision,” said Klink. “My husband died nine years ago and he never wanted to sell the home. I never wanted to sell the home. But I am getting older and the building needs a new owner that can bring it up to date.”

The Castle on Berwyn is expected to be put onto the real estate market today for the public to view and one financially-equipped person to own for $1,195,000. The East Andersonville 7-bedroom, three-flat greystone property is divided into three apartments and sits on half of a double wide lot. The back includes three parking spaces and a historic elm that provides cooling shade during the hotter months.

1430 W Berwyn Circa 1920

The Castle was designed by architect George Pfeiffer a decade after he helped build the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He also designed the greystone property next door at 1436 W Berwyn which you may remember was at the center of an intense fight by East Andersonville neighbors and Ald. Harry Osterman in order to save it from the wrecking ball. Klink helped organize the campaign which was ultimately successful by rezoning the neighborhood RS-3, a change that makes it much more difficult for developers to tear down and rebuild.

Surprisingly with all their credentials, neither 1430 or 1436 W Berwyn have the landmark status that would provide additional protection. However the neighborhood is now zoned RS-3 and the property is orange-rated to delay demolition by 90 days for city review, so it is highly unlikely that the Castle would be redeveloped. There has been a push to begin the landmarking process by neighbors and Ald. Osterman’s office and Klink is hopful that the new owners will begin those initial steps after the home is sold.

“Architecture isn’t just about who owns the building or who built the building,” Klink added. “It also about how people interact with buildings around them. And because this home is so well known, I assume those people have had an experience with it. It is a community building because of its iconic nature and it needs the right new owner that will be able to continue that.”

Klink hopes to find a buyer that will be thoughtful in preserving the historic nature of both the exterior and interior of the property as well as the century-old elm behind the home. 143o W Berwyn is represented by Keith Goad of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago. See the full listing here.

Photos: VHT Studios

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