August 20, 2013

A Sad Sears Osborn in Roseland

Chicago cops will tell you Roseland is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. The Far South Side community has problems with unemployment, poverty, gangs, and prostitution. There are frequent national news stories about the gun violence in Roseland

However, the residential architecture speaks to the fact that at one time Roseland was a thriving area. Take, for instance, this Sears Osborn. It is a mess today, but as recently as 10 years ago it was an cozy Craftsman bungalow.

602 W. 115th St., Chicago. The front porch.

Sears Osborn.

View of the dining room door. The Osborn had two styles of pillars.

This Sears Osborn was built in 1918 or 1919 by Henry Heath, a local carpenter, and his wife, Maud. The Heaths lived in the house until at least 1923. 

By 1928, the residents were Ralph H. and Isabelle Coe. When Ralph listed the Osborn for sale in 1943, the real estate ad called it "Roseland's most distinctive bungalow."

The house changed hands a few times in subsequent years. Dr. Angelo Ravasi, a noted surgeon, and his wife Rosa owned the house from the mid-1950's until 1976 when Rosa passed away.

Photo of the house taken during an architectural survey in the early 1970's.

Around 1979, Carolyn Glass moved into the house. She lived there until 2006 when she sold, fearing for her safety.

House in the mid-2000's. Still looking good! Photo courtesy of Jerry Pittman's Chicago.

Now that's a match! Sears said that the Osborn "will appeal to the lover of nature" because of the three porches (one on the rear of the house).

The house went into foreclosure in December 2012, and currently it is for sale.

The living room today.

The living room of the Osborn as featured in the 1918 catalog.
Beautiful front door is still there.

There's still a chance the house could be saved. It might be a viable investment if someone could renovate and get a Section 8 tenant.

The architect of the Osborn is Andrew F. Hughes.

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