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BEYOND THE LISTING: Peru home packed with prestige

The home at 1821 Second St. in Peru has been treated with care in its 103 years of existence, which is only fitting, because one of its first owners was a caregiver.

The two-story brick structure was constructed around 1915, with Dr. Otto Balensiefer, a surgeon, and his wife, Helen, early owners, as were John and Mildred Lent. John was export manager at WestClox in Peru.

The 4,163-square-foot house is now on its fifth owner, Tamara Smith. However, after 14 years, Smith needs to downsize and has put the stately structure on the market at $305,000.

"It's a solid old brick home with character," Smith said.

The house was originally in American Foursquare style, but In the late 1920s, additions were made by local architect John Hanifen, giving the home a more European look.

Among other area structures designed by Hanifen are Ottawa High School and the Mary Urban Barr Memorial Administration Building and Chapel at Riverview Cemetery in Streator.

Smith found blueprints for the 1920s' remodeling beneath a staircase. The prints are now framed and adorning the living room walls.

One unique feature introduced by Hanifen is an elevator, which still works, going between the first and second floors.

The four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home has plenty of features in place to remind you the house dates from the Woodrow Wilson Administration, such as a vintage chandelier, French pocket doors, leaded glass and hardwood floors.

However, the house is also definitely 21st century when it comes to wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. It is also topped with a brand-new roof.

The house sits on a bluff, giving it a look of command, with a sizable patio and yard.

Situated at a corner, the home has a driveway that feeds onto the street fronting the house, as well as onto a side street. As a result, the two-car garage is pull-through. Downtown Peru is a few blocks to the north, the Illinois River a few blocks to the south.

THIS JEWEL CATCH YOUR EYE? Call Wendy Fulmer, of Coldwell Banker Today's Realtors in Peru, at 815-252-8280. You can also call Karen Zermeno, of Coldwell Banker, at 815-326-1999

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