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Five of a Kind 

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This year's edition of the Highland Park Historical Society House Tour is a one-man show for a hometown boy. Architect Robert E. Seyfarth was born in Blue Island in 1878, but moved to Highland Park in 1912. Between 1909, when he opened his own office, and his death in 1950, Seyfarth designed 54 Highland Park houses--more than any other architect--and well over 100 throughout the North Shore. He started out in the employ of George W. Maher and was influenced by the Prairie School, but for most of his career Seyfarth worked entirely on his own from an office in his Sheridan Road home, producing pleasing, symmetrical designs with both classical and modern elements. Until the last ten years of his life he did all his own drafting and construction supervision and saw to it that his intentions were carried out by a few trusted tradesmen, including stonemason Cesar Fiocchi. His houses, which often have tall windows, recessed entries, and twin porches, look homey even when built on a grand scale. Artist Mary Seyfarth, his granddaughter, occupies one of the five residences that will be open for the tour. It runs from 1 to 5 on Sunday, October 13, and covers about eight blocks, starting at the Historical Society, 326 Central in Highland Park. Maps and a shuttle bus will be provided, but the course can also be walked, biked, or driven. Tickets are $25 ($20 if purchased in advance); call 847-432-7090.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/courtesy Highland Park Historical Society.

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