If you were charged with finding the most American city there is, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better candidate than Libertyville, Ill. This suburb of Chicago, with a population of approximately 20,000, has repeatedly been listed among the best places in the U.S. to live. There’s a thriving downtown, easy access to The Windy City, and plenty of good jobs in the area.
And of course, there’s the annual “Goose is Loose” festival, in which live geese with parachutes are dropped from above while hopeful winners await on the ground with raffle tickets.
“It’s a pretty unique town,” says Rich Ackman, the Vice President of Purchasing for K. Hovnanian Homes, which is in the process of building 56 townhouses – all of which will be adorned with MI Windows – on an intown redevelopment site. “It’s a really neat community. The way that it’s laid out, it’s easy to walk everywhere. Everything’s accessible, more than 30 restaurants, a movie theater, and the train station for a trip to Chicago.”
Successful and powerful people have long been attracted to Libertyville’s charms. The city was the home of former Illinois Governor – and two-time presidential candidate – Adlai Stevenson. And prominent 19th century Chicagoan Ansel Brainerd Cook summered in Libertyville; his two-story Victorian is now a popular museum.
But Libertyville isn’t all politicians and blue bloods. Like many great American cities, it has produced its share of iconoclasts. Libertyville High School counts among its alumni Marlon Brando – who was kicked out of school for riding his motorcycle in the hallways – and rock guitarist Tom Morello, co-founder of Rage Against the Machine.
All in all, Libertyville offers a little bit of everything: a small town, but one with a big city next door; quiet, leafy residential streets, but plenty of avenues for commerce; and a home for the powerful and the powerfully rebellious.
As the town’s fortunes surge, there’s naturally been an increase in the population, leading to a need for housing. By the end of 2019, K. Hovnanian’s new townhomes at 610 Parkside Court will be completely finished. Some of the 56 townhouses will be occupied by the end of 2017 – and all of them will have MI windows.
“I’ve been dealing with MI for quite a long time,” says David Lawlor, senior construction manager for K. Hovnanian. “I’ve put them in hundreds of homes; the product speaks for itself. …I think we have a beautiful community here.”
According to Lawlor, it’s exactly the kind of community Libertyville needs.
“The townhome community is a nice maintenance-free style of living,” he says. “There’s not a lot like it in Libertyville, which is mostly single-family homes. This community provides people with a lot of options.”
The townhomes feature a variety of MI windows, most from the 4300 Series. There are 1,024 windows in the entire project, including 9770 casements, and 4300 single-hung and picture windows. All of them are an extruded almond color.
“It’s nice that this color goes well with the building,” Lawlor says. “It enhances the overall aesthetic of the building.”
“It gives a whole different look than your typical white window,” Ackman adds. “This almond color helps everything mesh in.”
Meshing is particularly important for the homes at 610 Parkside, which feature a mixture of textures and colors designed to complement and contrast each other.
“The project has different colors, the way it’s all tied in,” Ackman says. “There’s brick, there’s stone. We used LP shake and engineered wood products.”
There are hundreds of the 4300 single-hung windows on the project. These windows feature an exterior brickmould, pre-punched mounting fin for efficient installations, and a removable sash that allows for easy drywall pass through during construction.
One of MI’s top sellers, the 4300 Series single-hung also has a warm-edge spacer system that helps improve thermal performance. This extra protection should come in handy when those notorious Lake Michigan winters come calling.
“We do have to follow the energy-code requirements,” Lawlor says. “Since these windows come in under those parameters, it allows us to use them.”
Designed by Chicago-area architect Rick Swanson, the townhomes have a unique look thanks to the various array of windows. That design necessitated some careful planning for the install.
“There was definitely a mix of windows intermixed through the building,” says Mike Anderson, sales manager for Lakeland Building Supply, the company that handled the installation. “A lot of it is figuring out where they go. Just meeting with the installers and showing them where the casements and single-hungs go, because they’re all the same size.”
The installers also had to ascertain the best way to install the unique architecturally designed windows.
“In some cases, there were three separate windows, each with an arch above it and framing between it,” Anderson says. “I had to give the installers a drawing of the framing. There was a lot to dial in. …But MI can accommodate a lot of the arches and make it work with the casements and the single-hungs that the architect was going for. He was pretty adamant that that was the way it had to be, and MI was able to accommodate that.”
As a result, the unique look of the homes at 610 Parkside Court will add more flavor to a charming community that’s quintessentially American and Midwestern. Residents of Libertyville have known for some time what a gem they have; now, it’s just a little more enticing.
“Libertyville is a great area,” Lawlor says. “It’s a premier location in Lake County: You have a nice downtown, and it’s a 45-minute train ride to Chicago. Plus, the townhomes are in an upscale neighborhood. It has a good urban feel to it, quality schools, and it’s a great place to raise a family.”