Elmhurst’s famous Mies van der Rohe McCormick house is about to get a facelift, or should we say an un-facelift.

Van der Rohe, the pioneering modernist architect built the McCormick house between 1951 and 1952. It is one of only three homes he designed; two of which are in the Chicago area.

In 1997, the home was attached to the Elmhurst Art Museum via a long, narrow walkway. Although the corridor was designed in Mies’ style, it hid the main façade of the house.

For years, the McCormick house was used for administrative space before eventually being opened to the public, but even then, it was unclear to visitors that they were in the famed home.

The museum now plans to tear down the hallway, restore a carport, and recreate the original landscaping.  This will allow the home to be better recognized for the architectural gem that it is.

Van der Rohe fans will be able to visit both the McCormick house and the Farnsworth House, located in Plano, on the same day.

Work begins this fall and should be completed by the end of the year. Heritage Architecture Studio and Bergland Construction, which also restored the Farnsworth House, will be doing the work.

With the interior of the home already restored, this exterior restoration will bring the house back to its original glory. Museum visitors will need to step outside for a few seconds to get to the house, which is a trade-off museum officials feel will be worth it in order to get a better appreciation of van der Rohe’s artistry.

The museum has commissioned Barry Bergdoll, architecture and design curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to organize an exhibit, “Mies in Chicago,” which will open at the museum next year. The museum will then be used as exhibition space.

The McCormick House and the Elmhurst Art Museum are cultural gems that we are lucky to have in our town. If you would like to live somewhere that celebrates and integrates cultural treasures, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com