When you walk in the front door of 101 N. Montclair during next weekend’s OOCCL Fall Home Tour, you’ll see two large white columns on your left leading into Paul and Cindy’s Maute’s front room.
Those columns, Cindy Maute says, have been the most complicated part of restoring the house. It was originally owned by T.S. Miller, one of the four developers of Winnetka Heights, and was his family’s residence. But right around World War II, like many homes in Winnetka Heights, this single-family residence was sectioned off into separate rooms for boarders.
When the Mautes moved in, the front room was one of those boarding rooms, and panes of glass had been made into walls separating the front room from the entryway. "When they put the glass block in, they put in these big chunks, so I had to reshape the columns," Cindy Maute says. "I had to make molds and pour a two-part resin, and then actually sculpt to get it where it is now."
Of course, Paul Maute says, "replastering ceilings isn’t fun either." Cindy, after a single crash course, has completed all of the plaster work in the house, except for the stairwell and one wall. Cindy also notes that "there were 10 million panes of glass that needed to be reglazed, and all the light fixtures were painted."
As mentioned in the story, the Mautes do the vast majority of restoration work themselves. It helps that Paul is an architect — though he specializes in heavy-duty commercial architecture, not residential — and Cindy is an artist. She specializes in fiber art, and when you walk through the home, you’ll notice all of the beautiful woven art on the walls and the "rugs", which are actually floorcloths. Their history extends to the Pilgrims, who used the sail cloths from their ships and laid them across their dirt floors.
"I wanted to weave rugs," Cindy says, "but with three dogs …" The Mautes are converting the home’s former third-floor apartment into Cindy’s studio space, which they are planning to open up during the tour.