Home features life-size playhouse
by BRIAN NADIG
Tucked in the basement of a mid-century modern home in Sauganash at 6282 N. Kolmar Ave. is a life-size, custom-built playhouse that entertained the Hohmeier children while they were growing up in the 1960s.
In 1962, Charles Hohmeier boarded-up the door to the basement so his children would not go down there while the 300-square-foot, two-room playhouse house was being constructed. "It was a Christmas gift," Margaret Hohmeier said.
The 9-foot-tall playhouse features a front hallway and a furnished kitchen and living room with electricity. It was built out of wood, as the family business was the Hohmeier Mill and Lumber Company near Belmont and Damen avenues.
"They had a lot of skilled carpenters working there," Margaret said, adding that employees built the playhouse. The mill closed in 1993, shortly after Mr. Hohmeier’s death, and the site is now home to the Millwork Lofts, 2011 W. Belmont Ave. The mill was reportedly 81 years old.
Hohmeier said that she has a lot of fond memories of the playhouse, and that she sees an occasional Facebook posting in which a friend recalls being in the playhouse as a child. She said that there were times in which her brothers would turn the lights off in the basement and bang on the playhouse while only she and her sister were inside to scare them.
She said that while growing up she gave little thought as to what motivated her parents to give their children such an unusual gift but that she recently learned from a 92-year-old uncle that it was a replica of one that her father and 12 siblings had on their family farm in Elgin. "There are actually blueprints," she said of the design.
Hohmeier said that following the passing of her mother Marion Hohmeier last year, the family decided to sell her parents’ home and listed it with the Barone Group of @properties. She said that the playhouse remains in excellent condition and that she hopes the buyer will keep the playhouse in the basement, and if not, a new home can be found for it.