Historical Chicago Real Estate For Sale

February 25, 2012

The Oak Park home where Ernest Hemingway grew up and became a writer has hit the market.

This famous metro Chicago real estate, located at 600 N. Kenilworth Avenue in the historic western suburb, is listed for a mere $525,000.

Hemingway’s mother helped design the home, which was built in 1906 by Henry G. Fiddelke.

The Prairie-style abode was eventually converted into a three-flat. In all there are six bedrooms, four bathrooms and 4,200 square feet of living space.

The first floor is the largest with a grand living room and two bedrooms, which used to be Hemingway’s father’s physician offices. The floor also contains a formal dining room and a large kitchen.

The second floor includes two bedrooms, a kitchen and a formal dining room, which used to be Hemingway’s playroom.

The third floor is the smallest unit with two bedrooms, a kitchenette, a full bath and a living room. This top floor is where Ernest would sleep.

There is also a huge front porch, multiple fireplaces and a four-car detached garage.

The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, which bought the home in 2002 for $520,000 — a mere $5,000 less than the current asking price — is selling the home after its partnership with Dominican University of River Forest dissolved and plans to convert it into a learning center fell through.

The Hemingway Foundation is hoping someone will buy the home and restore it to its original single-family layout.

“The Foundation seeks a buyer who will appreciate the home’s historic and literary value and treat the property accordingly,” reports the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park on its website.

According to the Foundation, Ernest lived in this home from ages 7 to 17, and it’s where he began his Nobel-Prize winning career in writing. The home parallels the setting in his “A Soldier’s Home” and was referenced in “A Farewell to Arms.”

It also has a sad past: Ernest’s father committed suicide in a second-floor bedroom in 1928.

This would become a theme in Hemingway’s family and fiction: Ernest had a brother and a sister that would later commit suicide, as would his granddaughter, Margaux Hemingway, though none of them passed in the Oak Park house.

Ernest himself died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head in 1961.

But his legacy lives on in writing and real estate.

Want to see the listing? Click here.

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