Thank you, Forest Park Chamber and Mayor Calderone, for being selected to receive one of the 2016 Pride Awards. Both my wife Sharon and I enjoyed the May 4 ceremony. Seems I still get “verklempt” when talking about my dad in public. Here’s a summary of the community neighbors who have been a great help to us in our project. Working on our house at 419 Marengo has been ongoing for over a decade. The last few years we have completed smaller projects.

Three significant improvements were flood control system (sewer backup) in 2013-2014 with a program administered by the village of Forest Park.

 Another ongoing project is paint maintenance. We have used a six-color paint scheme, somewhat of a historical palette and a Scottish red-black theme that my wife Sharon and I picked up on our past three trips to Scotland.

 Another important project was the installation and purchase of historical storm windows by Marvin.

 I do my own yard work. We have had to cut down some diseased trees but are happy to replace them. The village helped out in the front parkway with their free tree program. We have been at it since 1997 and hoping the major exterior roof and clapboard work will last with regular maintenance. We had a lot of collaboration. Glad I have some interior design and self-taught historical preservation experience. 

We converted to a single-family residence from a two flat. Originally built as the Carney Farm House located on Madison Street and moved to the 419 Marengo location on their 40-acre plot in 1918 (still called the Carney Subdivision).

The house is estimated to be over 140 years old; there is enough provenance to support the belief that it is one of the oldest standing and inhabited homes in town. We celebrated with a Carneyville historical housewalk last year; we hope to expand that neighborhood event this year.

Architect Nevin Hedlund of River Forest consulted us back in the beginning. I am proud to have used a lot of local trades/contractors.

 Paulson Paint is used often. Mike Garman Painting (exterior/rear) and Taras Horalewskyj (exterior and facade) shared exterior paint projects. My friend Brad Olson tackled many a big project as well. Forest Park contractor Dan Logan has been on call since the beginning. Both McAdam Landscaping and Bob Gerger’s company have helped me out in landscaping consultation and care. I have been going to Peaslee/Schauer’s Hardware store all my life.

A conservative estimate of investment for our efforts is around $250K. At some point I would like to name the house the Robert D. Cox House, after my dad, who really saved the home from the wrecking ball and even survived a fire at 419 in 1988. He purchased our Cox family residence in 1959. He passed away in 1993. I am dedicating this Pride Award to him.

We appreciate the recognition too.

Sharon Anderson-Cox and Bob Cox

Forest Park