The Spirit of 67 Foundation Celebrates its 10th Annual Home Tour on May 3.
There are houses and there are homes. 1200 North Green Bay Road in Lake Forest is most definitely a home.
“We were elated to have the Krouses offer their home for the tour this year,” explains Home Tour co-chair Allison Cekay. “Their home is centered around the family—you feel the warmth the minute you walk in the door.” Allison is co-chairing the 10th Annual Home Tour with Megan Medica and Jamie Wolf.
The Krouses are the fifth family to own the estate that was originally built in 1925 by Edwin Hill Clark, the same architect who designed Lake Forest Library. At the end of a long private drive off Green Bay Road, the meticulously maintained home boasts of 7 bedrooms, 6½ bathrooms, 4-car garage, pool, clay tennis court, and remnants of the apple orchard that existed before the home was built. The house sits on just under 5 acres and was recently listed for sale.
“Our two favorite rooms are the dining room and library,” says homeowner Paul Krouse, after discussion with his wife, Ann. “The dining room is where the six of us gathered most nights for dinner and where we now meet for Sunday lunches, dinners, family celebrations with our children, their spouses, and our eight grandchildren,” he adds. “The library is also special because that was where our family spent so many Sundays watching Bears games and eating sandwiches from Swiss Colony. These two rooms provide so many treasured memories.”
Memories that the Krouse children, all graduates of Lake Forest High School, continue to make. Even as adults with difficult schedules to coordinate, Amy, Beth, Joe, Katie, and their families still try to meet for Sunday dinners as often as they can. “Katie is the best about making this happen,” say her siblings, as Amy makes a salad, Beth sets the table, and Katie greets the pizza man at the door at a recent get-together. “We love that our kids are getting to grow up with their cousins.”
It’s no surprise that the kitchen has a special place in the Krouse children’s history. “It’s not even the kitchen as much as it’s the countertops,” they recall. “There was always someone sitting on our counters—our house was the place to hang out.”
Today, the kitchen showcases books written by Amy, a New York Times best-selling author. As serene as the interior of the Krouses’ home is, the outdoor landscape is a must-see. While the home’s gracious French doors overlook the beautiful grounds at the back of the house, it’s the artwork in the east yard that is noteworthy.
In partnership with The Field Museum, Mayor Daley, and the City of Chicago, the “Cool Globes” project premiered in 2007. More than 120 globes were created and put on display along Chicago’s lakefront. That fall, a number of globes were auctioned off to raise funds for environmental clubs in city schools, and the Krouses, who greatly support numerous educational efforts, purchased one of these globes titled “Play Pump.”
A visit to the Krouse home would be incomplete without pointing out one last detail that makes it so special. Many years ago, Ann gave Paul a necklace engraved with a saying dear to her from Elizabeth Browning, “Come grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” You’ll find this saying repeated on a pillow in their sitting room and set in concrete just outside their family room.
“We sincerely hope whoever buys our home will enjoy it with their family as much as we have,” adds Paul with a smile.
Tickets for the home tour may be purchased online at spiritof67foundation.org, or on May 3, the day of the home tour, at Sunset Foods, 825 S. Waukegan Road in Lake Forest (at the upper level, to right of the entrance). Established in 1985, the Spirit of 67 Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and acquiring resources to provide enriching educational and cultural experiences for the students, parents, faculty, and staff of Lake Forest School District 67 that might not otherwise be provided. To learn more about the Krouses’ home, which is currently for sale, visit 1200greenbay.com.
—Words by Ann Marie Scheidler