Gazette Article by: Helen Weaver
Appeared in the Gazette: Spring 2012
Designed in 1912 by architects Chatten & Hammond for a telephone company heir, 457 Ash Street has been standing elegantly for an entire century. At the time of its construction, the home was an early example of the soon-to-be popular Colonial Revival style. The architects’ use of buff-colored brick and green roof tile gave the classic three-story home some individuality.
The large property is bordered by a stone wall anchored by distinctive curved sculptures at the corners. One hundred years later, the house has been completely renovated and a beautiful stone addition on the west side of the property houses a new attached garage. Recently-installed landscaping gently enhances the home, replacing the overgrown evergreens and jungle of other plantings that kept the house hidden through the mid-2000s.
Melville Chatten (1873-1957) and C. Herrick Hammond (1882-1969) both residents of Winnetka, designed a number of houses on the North Shore and in Rockford as well as commercial buildings in Chicago. Their residential work was highly regarded and garnered mention in The Architectural Record in the early 1900s. Their designs reflected a lot of different influences including Howard Van Doren Shaw and Frank Lloyd Wright. Their work in Chicago includes the Columbus Park Refectory and Boat Landing (1922,) and the Thomson & Taylor Spice Co. Building (1911.) After Dwight Perkins joined Chatten & Hammond in 1925, the new firm designed several Art Deco skyscrapers including the Northwest Tower (“Coyote” Building) (1929) and the Lawson YMCA (1930-34). Hammond later served as Illinois state architect from 1929 to 1952.
457 Ash was built for James G. Kellogg, the son of Milo G. Kellogg, inventor and founder of the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company, known for its superior switchboard technology and art deco phone designs of the 1920s and 30s. The company had a brush with corporate malfeasance at the turn of the century when Milo’s brother-in-law and company trustee secretly tried to sell the company to AT&T while Milo was incapacitated due to illness. After eight years of court battles, Milo regained control of the company. Milo died soon after in 1909, leaving the company to James and his older brother Leroy. James and his young wife Pauline Hull Kellogg, moved in soon after the birth of their first child in December 1912. They had two more children while living at 457 Ash, and in 1921 commissioned Chatten & Hammond to build them a new and larger estate at Willow and Locust (address: 80 Locust Road, Winnetka).
In 1923, 457 Ash was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Fred C. Honnold, who moved to Winnetka from Rogers Park. Dr. Honnold, a graduate of the Rush Medical College in Chicago, practiced medicine for eleven years, and in 1907, entered the coal business. He later founded the Coal Bureau, an institution for gathering industry statistics, and eventually became an official of the Colleries Investment Company. Dr. Honnold, his wife Aimee, and their two teenaged daughters only lived at 457 Ash for about ten years, but romance blossomed during their stay as both girls became engaged there. In addition, the house was the site of the wedding of the elder sister, Mary Josephine Honnold, to Mr. Gordon Webster Daly in May 1926 with “masses of artistic spring flowers as a setting.”
The next family to take up residence remained at 457 Ash for almost 75 years. Attorney John E. MacLeish, a cousin of the writer Archibald MacLeish, and a Winnetka resident since 1912, moved in with his wife Gladys in 1934. Their newlywed daughter Virginia (well known for her society work and her curling expertise at Indian Hill Club) and her husband Donald Jones (son of early Winnetka Village President Arthur B. Jones) remained at the MacLeishes’ former home at 535 Ash until John and Gladys had both passed away in the late 1960s. Soon after, Virginia, Donald and their daughter Nancy moved into 457 Ash. Nancy never married and remained in the home after the death of both of her parents. Nancy passed away in 2008 and the same year, Rose and Douglas Barnard bought the property. The Barnards lived with their family in the guesthouse until the restoration and renovation of the main house was complete. The house was the site of the WHS Great Gatsby Gala on June 13, 2012.