Sauganash Tudor | 6040 N Kirkwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60646 view map
The 1929 English Tudor was an ideal candidate to become a green home while retaining its old world charm. The generous southern exposure is a perfect setting to invite nature to participate in a rain garden, and create a pervious cobble stone driveway to conserve rain water resources

SIZE: 1,800 square feet

Native Plantings
Permeable Paving
Rain garden
Rain water collection
Passive solar
Insulating triple pane windows


Many aspects of the 1929 English Tudor’s old world charm were refurbished to create a property that attracts and recovers wildlife. With a generous southern exposure, this location is a perfect setting to invite nature to participate in a rain garden for water retention. The seasonal vegetation changes keep things cooler in summer and use passive solar gain in winter. The inherent thermo mass of the structure complements these extremes.

The brick and stone home had a worn out cement driveway that was replaced with cobble stones. The cobble stones were created millions to billions of years ago and were hand cut 125 – 200 years ago for use in Chicago streets. All cobble stones were polished by wagon wheels, horseshoes, tires, shoes and bare feet and were created to last to infinity. At the homes entrance, the cobblestones were configured to provide an on-site geology trip for discussion of the geology of the earth and to tell the hidden stories of the streets of Chicago.

The curb appeal of the home is accented by the multicolored brick of 2 textures with added limestone. The polished cobblestones form a mosaic of color that changes from weather conditions. The combinations of color between brick, cobblestones and the rain garden reflect what nature has been doing historically with colors and patterns

Underneath the cobble stones are a base of large gravel stones designed to retain rain water resources on site. Water retention avoids the energy needed to pump and process water up from the deep tunnel complex during stormy days as well as lessen the polluted water discharges into Lake Michigan and helps prevent flooding downstream.

The rain garden is in the front parkway and most of the front yard. It is a showcase of color and serves as an oasis for wildlife and insects. It establishes its own diversified cooperative rebalancing ecosystem in the city.  Weather has an enormous impact on how the garden evolves year to year and there are day to day changes. .

Home was originally heated with a coal boiler with gravity hot water heat utilizing massive size radiators in each room. Radiators were designed to radiate inferred heat at low temperatures for comfort. Triple pane windows with blinds between the glass and added wall and roof insulation decreased the design heat loss to less than half.  A modulated condensing boiler was added and operates at greater than 96 percent efficiency due to the lower water temperatures needed for heat.

A future photovoltaic system will be added with a charging station for an electric vehicle.

The Sumac trees form a canopy over the cobble stone driveway and patio for summer cooling and lets the sun shine in the winter. A grand flash of red flames from the stag horn Sumac trees in the fall warn of the coming of winter weather.