Every small town has its quirky charms. North Riverside had its Japanese pagoda house on DesPlaines Avenue. Berwyn had the Spindle. Forest Park had the Jimmy Durante garage door. And it had the house with the concrete castles in the yard.
Well straight from the “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till Its Gone” file, the Historical Society has gone Dumpster diving looking to salvage any parts of the three castles recently disposed of by home renovators who purchased the 1001 Dunlop home. That’s where, since 1927, small concrete castles decorated with chips of stone have warmed our hearts and roused our curiosity, delighted us when they were decorated for Halloween and Christmas.
The Review has written about the castles in the past. About the Polish immigrant widow, Frances Wegrzyn Kitcheos, who built them to remember her late husband and to bring a piece of Europe home.
It is good that the Dunlop house has been purchased. It needed renovation and had sat on the market for a half-decade. It is just too bad because better communication could have prevented the loss of the curious artifacts. The historical society has worked now with the contractor to recover a piece of wrought-iron work from a fence at the house. It is something. But not all that should have been preserved.