The story of one home on this year's Haus und Garten Tour reads like the opening of a Nora Ephron movie script:

The story of one home on this year's Haus und Garten Tour reads like the opening of a Nora Ephron movie script:


Couple walk across the park on a gorgeous summer evening. One pauses in clear admiration of what he's focused on.

KH: "Look at the way the lights of that home sparkle through the stained-glass windows. It is the most charming house on Schiller Park."

TM: "I know you've had your eye on a home like that for years."

Couple exits park to get a closer look and notices the "For Sale" sign in the front yard. They take the brochure inside the display. Their eyes widen.

TM: "We should call Ned Merkle."

Ken Hunger and Tim Moore told me they had been coveting a house on the park since they bought and moved into their first German Village home on Sixth Street, which already had been renovated a few months earlier. Soon, the majestic 1899 house at 180 Reinhard Ave., which Ken calls his "dream home," came into their lives.

Back to our script:

Cue the montage music for eight months' worth of renovation work.

"We gutted it to frame, added all new plumbing, wiring, heating and air," Moore said. "Also insulation, (and) all the windows were rebuilt. However, that fixture in the entry is original - you could see the gas line that powered it."

Added Hunger: "There was a 1960s enclosed patio that had been made into a bathroom. We made it into a mud room and moved the half bath on the first floor."

They took the entryways back to square - their original look - from the arched updates that had been done, and they replaced the home's woodwork with new materials built to replicate the 1899 era in which it was built.

Outside, they repaired box gutters, totally rebuilt the exterior of the mudroom, did tuck work on the bricks and added a garage and a front porch. A 1972 remodeling had removed the front porch.

"Luckily, we had Bill Hugus on our side when it was time to apply for our certificates of appropriateness and work with the German Village Commission," said Moore. "He found evidence there was a porch."

Hugus worked with the Hemming Co. to revamp and upgrade while respecting architectural details and historical integrity, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. Hunger's favorite room is the kitchen, with its tin ceiling, period reproduction stove and country kitchen sink. Moore's favorite space is the porch with its front-row seat for all that happens at Schiller Park.

The majestic home gives visitors a glimpse back in time and honors the high interior design standards of the early 20th century. By filling their home with antiques, 1920s and '30s reproduction pieces and modern favorites, the pair combined modern convenience with the old-world charm that first brought them out of the park that summer night to take a closer look.

Moore and Hunger have met four of the home's previous owners.

"On Labor Day, we heard a knock on the door and there stands the woman who installed stained glass behind the stairs," Hunger said, proudly showing off one of his favorite features. "Another woman's grandparents owned it in the '50s and '60s. She recognized the fireplace in the dining room and the stair bannister and it really took her back."

Featured on the 1972 Haus und Garten Tour, today this home has the benefit of another 40 years' worth of stories, owners and design trends under its belt.

Its Hollywood-style walk on the red carpet is June 24 when 6,000 visitors will take part in this year's tour.

We can't wait to welcome you.

Shiloh Todorov is the director of the German Village Society. Email her at