Touring Historic Avondale Estates

How has your weekend been going? Do anything fun today…or was it just too hot to be outside?

You may remember, last Metamorphosis Monday I shared a bit about a restaurant named Six Feet Under and my near dangerous encounter with a drink called Tombstone Tea. πŸ™‚ Then I took you by my favorite stalker house located in Grant Park. Next, we headed back to my friend’s home for a tour of his recently renovated back yard. Well, I’ve been holding out on you because prior to heading back to my friend’s home, we (my friend and I) took a walking tour of the City of Avondale Estates.

Wikipedia says,
Avondale Estates was founded in 1924 by George Francis Willis, who purchased the entire village of Ingleside to create a planned community. The city was named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England, birthplace of Shakespeare. Downtown buildings were designed in a Tudor style to reinforce this image, as were many of the houses in the city. Community amenities such as a lake, tennis courts, clubhouse, and a swimming pool were built for residents.

The website for the city of Avondale Estates elaborates a bit more saying the city was inspired by a trip George Willis and his wife, Lottie, had taken to Stratford-upon-Avon. Today Avondale Estates is named on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

A view of a section of downtown Avondale Estates…

Clubhouse for Avondale Estates…

A home near the downtown part of Avondale…note the blue bottle collection in all the windows. What a neat way to display your collection for all to enjoy.

This is one of my favorite homes in Avondale Estates. I think if I lived here I’d trim away some of the shrubbery to showcase this adorable cottage even more.

So cute! Doesn’t this make you think of an English cottage?

I’m gonna hush a bit and let you just stroll the sidewalks of this lovely neighborhood…

A surprise in the backyard of a home located on a corner…

Our tour continues…

This one is available for purchase…

I always love the old communities that have big trees growing right up out of the sidewalk…

I love a red door…I know that comes as no surprise. πŸ™‚

Funny story…whenever I’m touring lovely neighborhoods taking pics of homes to share with you, I don’t stop to take pics of homes where people are actually out working in their front yards. I’m brave…but not that brave. πŸ™‚ I’m just never sure how they might feel about a complete stranger snapping pics of their home.

So, here we are…finished with our walking tour and driving down a street to head back to my friend’s home for the tour of his backyard. I suddenly spot a home I really want to include in the picture tour. I turn to my friend and ask if he will snap the pic since it’s on his side of the car. I’m thinking he’s going to roll down the window to take it. Next thing I know, he’s hopped out of the car and is gone somewhere back behind my SUV. What???

I crane my neck looking back to see what the heck he’s doing and where in the world he’s gone. I see him snapping pics of the house next door. Then, to my horrors (lol)I notice the homeowner is in the front yard. Ohhhh, noooo. My friend, undeterred, is snapping away!

An eternity passes as I squirm in my seat, wondering if we are about to have the police called on us! I can hear the homeowner calling out to him, perhaps asking this total stranger what he is doing taking a photo of her and her home!  Not being able to stand it anymore, I hop out of the car to see what’s taking him so long and what the bewildered homeowner is saying.  My friend who’s taken pics with my camera many times before, including this very day, can’t get the camera to work. A comedy of errors! Yep, folks…we are definitely in Shakespeare land today. πŸ™‚

I’m relieved to hear the good natured home owner asking if she should stay in the pic or move out of view, as opposed to, “I’m calling the police right now, buster!” πŸ™‚ I’m a bit flustered but trying to hide it, having never stopped to take a pic of a home with the owner working in the yard!

The owner asks if we want her to move the ladder that is out front where she has been replanting her beautiful flower boxes. How sweet is that? I say, “No, no need. It’s fine.”  I reach over, grab the camera from my friend who has now changed the setting on the camera and has the flash going off. (LOL) I snap a hurried pic, thank the gracious homeowner profusely and start walking back to the car…you kno, the one that was parked in front of the house NEXT door!  I hurriedly take a pic of the home I had originally been eyeing.

As I hop into the car, I’m thinking to myself, there are still some amazingly gracious, warm and just plain lovely people in this world and we had just met one. Once back in the car, I turned to my friend, looked him dead in the eye and said, “That was the wrong house!” πŸ™‚ We laughed over that for quite a while.

House Stalking Rule #1: Do not attempt to take pics of homes where the homeowners are presently working in the yard! (LOL)

Beautiful Tudor home of a very gracious and warm homeowner…note the fabulous front porch and the lovely window box. I’m really glad my friend spotted this one…it would have been a shame to have left it out of this tour. It epitomizes the lovely feel and architecture of Avondale Estates.

Home next door to very gracious homeower: πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Do you have any funny house stalking stories to share?

 

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Comments

  1. Happy To Be/ Glβ™₯ria says

    Oh Susan what lovely homes I really enjoyed this tour…and how funny with your friend..I love going out at night time and looking at peoples windows guess I'm a peeking tom ha ha!! There just something about the warm glow of a window that makes me want to peek inside…Hope you have a GREAT weekend my friend…Hugs and smiles Glβ™₯ria

  2. What a wonderful old neighborhood! I could so see myself living there. I think my favorites were the third house and the house with the gracious owner :). Have a beautiful Sunday, Nan

  3. I want that cute little cottage with the red door(the first red door picture). Great houses! Your blog is always enjoyable.

  4. Cass @ That Old House says

    Oh I am with Gloria — LOVE peeking into people's homes at night as I pass by. I inherited that habit from my mom! My husband is amused thank goodness.

    Avondale is gorgeous. The first picture made me think of Forest Hills in the NYC boro of Queens; the houses are also similar. It too is a wonderful planned community, famous for its tennis courts where the US Open was played for so many years.

    Thanks for the tour! Thankfully our heat wave broke a few days ago, and we have lovely summer weather — breezy and about 80.

    See you Monday!
    Cass

  5. Graceful Moments says

    I love Avondale Estates! My parents had friends who lived there when I was a teenager. I loves the houses and see they have not changed much except that the trees are much taller and some of the yards are overgrown a bit.
    I'm going to look up that beauty that's for sale and see if I can find some photos of the inside.
    Thanks for this stroll down memory lane for me.
    Too funny about your friend and the wrong house!

  6. What a wonderful neighborhood, filled with character.
    I know, wanting to take pictures unobtrusively, without anyone noticing.
    Our house was once pictured in the Old House Journal when it was in it's most decrepit state, as an original Sears kit house, although "not in mint condition"!, shortly before it was condemned, fumigated and auctioned.

  7. Lol. That is hilarious! I was in our front yard today and this car kept coming around looking at our house.I smiled and waived they were admiring it. I am happy to let people stalk our house anytime. Most people would be flattered!

    Thanks,

    Valerie

    The Cute Couponer

  8. Hi Susan! I was feeling the uneasiness with you as your friend stood in front of that home! πŸ™‚ What a lovely neighborhood. I've been to Stratford-upon-Avon in England before and it's so lovely! Even toured Anne Hathaway's little cottage.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  9. Glenda/MidSouth says

    Thanks for the tour. I love seeing the older, well kept homes like that – so much character. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  10. So beautiful! I love the 5th picture of the ivy covered door on the brown house. It is very English and lovely! I have a funny house stalking story for you! My husband and I love to go look through neighborhoods at houses. We were in one that we were considering moving into and we stopped at a house that was being built. We always just try the door to see if they are open (come on… I'm not the only one who does this! Am I???). It was open so we started looking through it. Next thing you know, we hear the front door open and in comes a man. We all kind of had the awkward moment and then he informs us that he is the owner!!!! I wanted to fall through the floor. We explained that we were house hunting and it was unlocked. We apologized profusely and he said not to worry about it one bit and proceeded to give us a tour! There are nice people still out there!!!

  11. Momma Button says

    Thanks for the walking tour. I enjoy looking at the beautiful homes.
    Now my funny story….I went to the Parade of Homes with my mom and aunt one year, and they totally walked into the wrong home, with me in tow. I kept asking if they were sure they had the right house and they assured me they did. Then I mentioned that there were no signs out front or the 'cute blue booties' to put over you shoes. They then realized that we had walked into a private home and that they were coming in the back door. Heck ya, we ran!

  12. Annesphamily says

    This tour was terrific. Thank you for sharing. I would love to own one of those lovely homes. Hugs Anne

  13. Susan at DesignDestinations says, "What a lovely house tour. Great photos. I share your reticence about taking photos of people on their property. Sounds like you had a great experience."

  14. Sue at Beach Bungalow says

    OMG, so charming!

    I'll take one of each please.

    Sue
    xo

  15. I don't love classic tudor, but I love the style of most of these cottages! I guess I am a voyeur too πŸ™‚ My husband and I passed by a window the other night in our neighborhood. When I said, "oh no, she's moved the table and lamps", he thought I had lost my mind πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  16. Brayton Homestead Interiors says

    oh what lovely homes- all wonderful to look at and live in!
    love your blog…

    Karen

  17. Nancy's Notes says

    You crack me up, have to say, I love looking/peeking at homes! What a great tour, each home is just so charming, thank you for sharing this with us today!

    Have a great day!

    Nancy

  18. Susan, these houses are wonderful. and I want to assure you that MOST people would prefer to know you took a picture of their home. My house is set too far back off the street for people to drive by and take a picture, BUT they drive into take pictures… I always welcome them if they ask, BUT I find it scary when I'm standing at my sink and people walk by my window with their cameras, hehe… One day I was in my garden and a car drove in and two people got out, I stood up and the man, VERY SURPRISED TO SEE ME, said, "oh I'm sorry if I knew you were home I would have waited to show my wife another time"… I assured him that it would be the other way around and I would welcome him and his wife, BUT I should be home and you should let me know you are here… We actually came home one day and there was a couple "PICNICKING" in our yard… I have to laugh now BUT I do find it a "LITTLE scary sometimes"… I've also come home and found a CLASS from a local college on a ladder examining my roof "WITH" the teacher, they were actually on a field trip…HAHAHA, my Dad when he visits(he's 85) sits in the yard and watches all the activity and says "You need a gate". Susan, I think you should ASK, People WILL let you photograph and if it's a really nice house you will get to walk around to get pics of the back and there COULD be some wonderful surprises waiting around the corners…

  19. What a fun place to tour…the houses are just so charming you'd feel you were in England!

  20. Gorgeous homes, thank you for posting these lovely photos!

  21. I really enjoyed your post. Those are some lovely homes. I would love to see the interiors of them. I haven't gotten up the nerve yet to take pictures of the older homes in our area, but when I was a teenager, my friends and I stopped at a "castle" (looked like one to us)in an affluent neighborhood, knocked on the door and asked the homeowner if we could come in and look. She graciously said yes and gave us a tour of the first floor only. That may have been the beginning of my obsession with homes.

  22. Things That Inspire says

    I loved this post…I have heard so much about Avondale Estates, but have never been there! I had no idea that the inspiration for the name was inspired by Stratford-on-Avon.

    Loved your house stalker rules, and your homeowner encounter! The i-phone has taken my house stalking to a whole new level, because it is so subtle taking a picture with an iphone – you can pretend that you are checking a text or something!

  23. The Charm House says

    Avondale Estates!!! My grandparents lived about two miles from town. When I was younger we would go and stroll the neighborhoods! I am so glad that it is still as lovely! My grandfather worked at the Cotton Mill and my grandmother worked at Davidson's (became Macy's later). They lived in one of the mill houses for years! I loved playing in the neighborhood as a child! Thanks for bringing back WONDERFUL memories!
    Have a wonderful and blessed day!
    Yvette

  24. Kathy Love says

    As a matter of fact, I do have a house stalking experience. My family lived in England in the 50s in a beautiful house in the countryside (we thought it was a palace compared to the houses we had lived in stateside.) My sister and I went to England in 1999 and drove to the little town, stopping to peer over the fence of the lovely house that had been completely remodeled. The owner, a lady in her 70s came our and said, "May I ask what you are doing?" When we explained to her that we had lived in the house, she invited us in and gave us a tour!! What an awesome surprise. When we returned a year later, we took our father with us and she was so glad to see us again! What a wonderful experience.

  25. I have really enjoyed this tour of Avondale Estates. Each home is lovely! I laughed that your friend got the wrong house, but such a kind homeowner!

    My father went to the house where he was born and knocked on the door, but the lady was afraid and slammed her door. We asked my dad what he was thinking! HA HA!

    I am excited about the Tassel House win! Thank you so much!

    Mary
    From Virginia

  26. …the house with the red ladder is my favorite…have always loved avondale too…

  27. Oh my goodness, what a sweet neighborhood. I agree, some of those yards are just overgrown and don't allow the beauty of the homes to shine. I'd take a machete to several of them!
    Jan

  28. I love you home tours and look forward to them. You take me places I would never see otherwise.

  29. lvroftiques says

    Hi Susan! Thank you so much for sharing your tour! I just eat this stuff up! And what a darling area! I love to stalk….ummm…. walk the neighborhoods in my area and take pix for gardening ideas (I'm rich in ideas but not much follow through *winks*) And just like you I don't want to be caught snapping away! Heavens nooooooo! I was cringing for you reading your story! But what a sweet friend you have!
    Anyhoo a week ago I caught this darling little lady snapping pictures of my house! And let me tell ya, it isn't one bit photo worthy! I came out with my hubby to talk to her and see what was going on? She said she "just loved colonial homes" (yep my house is colonial style) And then she said "you're such a young couple to have such a lovely home" (I wondered what "old" looked like to her!) It made my day!! Heck it made my month! Lol! Vanna

  30. The Frosted Gardner says

    Oh my beautiful. Those homes were absolutely wonderful and there were so many with each having its own style and flair. I want to live on a street like that. Thank you for sharing. Your pictures are beautiful.

  31. LOL Susan, Most homeowners in areas like that are used to the pic-takers. We have a town about 50 miles away from us we go all the time during the different seasons that was a planned community in 1911 inside a park. It's gorgeous. Cars stop all along the streets to get snapshots…homeowners just wave back. Now you're not bad until you have to to these places near dusk, cause you get a wonderful view of the outside, but you guessed it…what's the inside like? Go at dust as they put on thier lights inside and you can see
    how they have kitchen or front room
    decorated.Now you don't stop for pete's sake, but you have to go slow….this is a reduced speed area, don't ya know;)….and learn to focus real quick or you'll miss it. My Mom and I joke we are serial
    decorator peepers. Oh, and we never take pics at that time…heaven sake's the flash ya know.

  32. tales from an oc cottage says

    Toooooooo funny!!! What AMAZING homes!!!

    m ^..^

  33. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    Since I love a home that looks like a cottage…this is a town I would love. The homes are so pretty and so well maintained. I really enjoyed the tour!

  34. I am having a hrad time picking a favorite, they are all such adorable, lovely homes!!!! Funny story! Thanks so much for the tour…..now if only you could get INSIDE of some of them:):) XO, Pinky

  35. I am having a hrad time picking a favorite, they are all such adorable, lovely homes!!!! Funny story! Thanks so much for the tour…..now if only you could get INSIDE of some of them:):) XO, Pinky

  36. Chatty Crone says

    Susan, I really enjoyed the tour – while I live close I have never visited – so thank you. sandie

  37. More Entertaining Women says

    charming, charming, charming! We have a couple of neighborhoods nearby so similar, that I thought it was in my community! They are so charming and inviting, and the gardens are wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Loved the tour, and the funny stories. We all need stories!

  38. Oh my, these are gorgeous…absolutely dreamy. I love a red door too, so much so that my blog button happens to be one. πŸ˜‰

    Have a lovely day and thank you for sharing these.

  39. Melanie @ The Tiny Tudor says

    What a beautiful post- I felt just as though I was taking a walk in this great neighborhood!

  40. Just saw this……Come back to Avondale Estates for the 20th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday, December 9 from 3-8…(Holiday Market …noon-6:00). One of the houses on your walking tour is on our tour! Meet more of Avondale’s wonderful neighbors…including Mary Kay Andrews who will be signing her books from 2-4 at the Holiday Market.

  41. Avondale Estates – the most idealic place around! I grew up in Avondale and even though I moved away almost 40 years ago, I still go back to often to visit with friends and family! Not much has changed in all these years except the families who live in the beautiful homes. I can’t think of a better place to grow up – we didn’t lock our doors at night – just latched the screen door to let the cool evening air in. We played kick ball and other games in the middle of the street. We ice skated on the lake when it froze over one winter. We walked to school and to the pool for swim practice and cheered on the Blue Devils when they played for the State Football titles. I am sure we all thought everyone lived like this! Fun fact – the streets in Avondale are in alphabetical order – Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield..they all l run off Avondale Road.

    The Annual Christmas

  42. Hi,
    Love all your home tours (and your comments!). A friend and I and my little daughter who about 5 yrs old, “toured” or stalked if you will, a vacant home in San Marino, CA, where lots of wonderful older homes are. My daughter found a back door was open..and in we went! We tiptoed around, gawking at everything (TWO big kitchens!). SIX bedrooms upstairs. She wanted to go down into the basement (basements are not that common in So. California), but I didn’t want her to do that. It was DARK down there and we had no flashlight. It was quite exciting & fortunately, we didn’t caught!

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