Adlai Stevenson home going up for sale

2009-09-23T11:35:00Z Adlai Stevenson home going up for saleBy Mary Ann Ford |
September 23, 2009 11:35 am  • 

BLOOMINGTON -- The boyhood home of Adlai E. Stevenson II will go up for sale Oct. 1 for $580,000 and include an easement that will protect most of its exterior for perpetuity.

"Our first concern is preservation of the house," said Greg Koos, executive director of the McLean County Museum of History.

The Arthur Pillsbury-designed home at 1316 E. Washington St. was given to the historical society in 1977 by Stevenson's sister, Elizabeth Stevenson Ives.

Adlai E. Stevenson II lived in the home until after his junior year in high school. He went on to be Illinois governor, two-time presidential candidate and United Nations ambassador.

The society has spent about $400,000 maintaining the house. Its historical integrity was a key factor in securing a "preservation easement" from Landmarks Illinois.

"We're excited to have it," said Suzanne Germann, director of grants and easements at Landmarks Illinois. "It's a great house. We're excited about the partnership."

Koos said the easement means Landmark Illinois owns the exterior appearance of the house.

The easement is recorded on the house deed and requires owners to follow U.S. Department of Interiors standards when doing work to the exterior, Germann said, including restoring rather than replacing. If something is beyond restoration, it must be replaced with the same materials.

It is similar to local historic district guidelines but cannot be overruled by a city council, she said.

Koos said the easement will apply only to the front and sides of the house, allowing an addition to the rear should new owners want one.

Landmarks Illinois has easements on 460 houses in the state, most of which are in the Chicago area. The agency charges 10 percent of the value of the façade easement to private owners, but the fees were waived because the history museum is nonprofit.

Koos said three people already have expressed interest in purchasing the house, which is listed with Realtor Diane Sullivan, who also is president of the Old House Society.

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