Wow, do we have a stunner of a fixer-upper to share with you today! A natural beauty with an impressive history to match, it’s no wonder Dunham Castle is the architectural heart and soul of Wayne, Illinois, located just outside of Chicago. Here are just some of the things about it that leave us utterly enchanted.
A GILDED AGE FAIRY TALE
There’s no doubt about it, this place has whimsy written all over it. Built for the Dunham family in 1883, the brick and stone design was based on medieval Norman castles in France. And because you can’t have a fairy tale without horses, it’s only fitting that the Dunhams were the premiere breeders of Percherons in Gilded Age America.
MAKING AN ENTRANCE
Just one step through these castle doors and you’re transported back to another era of grand dinner parties and elegant ball gowns. Sure, the foyer is in need of a little TLC, but it really speaks for itself with its ornate details and graceful stairway. And isn’t there just something about it that makes you want to turn the corner and explore more?
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Dunham Castle is spacious and full of extraordinary possibilities – it is a castle after all! How many homes have you been in where you can imagine yourself gazing out at your vast estate from a turret? Large windows bathe almost every room in natural light, and those turrets offer up cozy nooks fit for a life of leisure.
CITY & COUNTRY
Clearly we can’t get enough of these castle grounds, but that’s not all we love. The village of Wayne’s connection to its equestrian past is alive and well thanks to its countless riding paths and horse farms. Throw a little variety into the mix with a trip to nearby Chicago — easily reachable for the commuter and fun-seeker alike — and you’ve got the best of both worlds.
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AUTHOR AMANDA DAVIS
Amanda is an historic preservationist living in New York City with a particular fondness for fixer-uppers. She can be spotted checking out quirky historic details here, there, and everywhere in her handmade dresses. Every time Amanda sees a cozy room with large windows and beautiful built-ins she can’t help but imagine her very own sewing nook with oldies music playing in the background.