509 N Oak Park Ave Oak Park, Illinois USA

Burton F. Hales House

Construction date: documented 1904*

Current name:

Burton F. Hales House


Henry G. Fiddelke


Henry Ericson



Historical Summary:

The house at 509 N Oak Park Ave was designed by H. G. Fiddelke in 1904 for Burton F. Hales (1853-1930). Hales was a self-made millionaire who started out first manufacturing a reclining chair in the 1880s, then went into the grain and malt business for the following 45 years. At the time of his death in 1930, Hales' firm was one of the largest producers of malt, animal food, and other grain products in the country. Hales was active on the Chicago Board of Trade and was a prominent member of the Progressive party when Theodore Roosevelt ran for president of the United States.

The house sits on a 1.3-acre lot and is a 3-story building in the Tudor Revival style. It has 21 rooms including 13 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and a billiards room. There are marble sinks in the upstairs closets, five fireplaces, and a 4-car garage. A separate servants quarters is located in a 12-room, 2-story coach house.

In 1942, the Hales family sold the house to the Catholic order of the Jesuits, who used it as a home and retreat for priests until 1989. The house was then purchased by Kanae Ikai, a Japanese fashion designer known internationally. It was purchased for $875,000, the highest price paid for a house in Oak Park up to that time.

A garage was built northeast of the house in 2013.

Significant Owner(s):

Burton F. Hales


Status of Historic Designation:

Designated at National level : Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture 1973
Designated at Local level : Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture 1972

Rating or Rank:


Evaluation of Potential Eligibility:

Potentially eligible as a contributing resource

Architectural Description:

This is a 2.5-story single-family residence in the Chateauesque style built in 1904. The structural system is masonry. Exterior walls are original limestone. The building has a gable roof clad in original clay tiles. Crenelated parapets. There is one offset left, limestone chimney and one offset right, limestone chimney. Windows are original wood, 1/1 double-hung sashes. There is a single-story, partial-width open porch characterized by a flat roof with rectangular stone posts. Crenelated parapet above porch roof.

* Date source: Village of Oak Park building permit archives.

Description generated by RuskinARC.