In the Spotlight: Lemont

Once a 19th century stop for laborers constructing the Illinois-Michigan Canal, Lemont is now one of Chicagoland’s most prized and rooted suburban communities. Located approximately 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, the southwest suburban village pairs its natural beauty and historic downtown with a family-centric vibe rich in community spirit, recreational opportunities, and award-winning schools.

Now claiming 17,000 residents, Lemont’s population has jumped more than 25 percent this century, a hearty nod to its desirability among homebuyers.

To date, hundreds of homebuyers seeking entry into Lemont have turned to Gallagher and Henry’s Covington Knolls community, a collection of some 440 single-family homes located on 127th Street.

The Heart of Lemont

Seemingly cut from a Norman Rockwell portrait, Lemont’s historic downtown features a mix of independent restaurants, small businesses located in century-old buildings built from locally sourced limestone, and various old-timey charms, including a Metra train station and antique signs. The downtown area plays host to regular community events, including the village’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival, youth open mic nights, and historic walking tours.

Beyond Downtown

Over the years, Lemont leadership has intentionally worked to situate much of the town’s major commercial development on the edges of town. A major retail center on Archer Avenue in the village’s southern tip, for instance, features a Target, Kohl’s, HomeGoods, and OfficeMax. This strategy has allowed central Lemont to avoid being gobbled up by big-box commercialism and to retain its homey, residential feel.

A Family-Friendly Feel

A family-friendly character dominates Lemont, where one-quarter of the population sits under the age of 18. The village features high-achieving schools headlined by Lemont High, a National Blue Ribbon school; includes a park district that hosts over 4,000 special events each year; and has earned plaudits from the National Council for Home Safety and Security as one of the state’s safest cities.

A Home to High-End Science

Argonne National Laboratory calls Lemont home. A science and engineering research laboratory aligned with the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy, the sprawling scientific campus tackles a range of cutting-edge work in areas such as clean energy and supercomputing. Argonne’s most notable claim to fame, however, was the work carried out in the 1940s and 1950s by Enrico Fermi. The so-called “architect of the nuclear age,” Fermi worked on nuclear reactors at Argonne as part of the Manhattan Project.

Halloween – Lemont Style

As Halloween approaches, Lemontster Days takes over Lemont. Offering fun for those of all ages, Lemontster Days’ dynamic calendar of events includes a masquerade ball, craft beer tasting event, movie in the park night, witches walk, haunted hay ride, hoedown, and scarecrow festival.

3 for your 2019 calendar

  • A staple of the Lemont calendar since 1991, Heritage Fest features live music, bingo, kids entertainment, and more, assuring fun for all ages in historic downtown Lemont. Heritage Fest is slated for July 13, 2019.
  • Downtown Lemont becomes a Winter Wonderland with the village’s Hometown Holiday event slated for December 1, 2019. The annual event includes visits from Santa and the Grinch, caroling, bands, a Kris Kringle outdoor market, Christmas tree lighting, and more.
  • The Sunset Soiree Summer Concert Series brings free live music to downtown Lemont. Set for five Thursday evenings this summer (June 13, June 27, July 18, July 25, and August 1), the Sunset Soiree connects neighbors and friends in a fun and lively environment.

What’s Trending in Interior Selections?

What’s old is becoming new again.

As recent homebuyers begin to embrace gold accents, farmhouse sinks, and craftsman details, it’s clear that the past is influencing many of the present day’s foremost trends in home design.

Gallagher and Henry team members Sandie Kanakes, Laura Ritchie, and Linda Staszak detail some of the top trends they’re seeing in interior selections, including a few inspired by yesteryear flair.

Farmhouse-Styled Sinks

Apron sinks, once a mainstay of farmhouse kitchens, continue gaining popularity among Gallagher and Henry’s suburban homebuyers, while trough sinks (also known as bucket sinks) have emerged a distinctive choice for the bathroom. Both add a vintage, nostalgic touch to their respective spaces.

Painted Cabinets

While oak cabinetry and stained cabinets once dominated, Kanakes sees many current Gallagher and Henry buyers opting for painted cabinets in a simple design such as the shaker style. In some cases, buyers are going the two-toned route, selecting different paint colors for upper and lower cabinets to add visual drama. In such cases, navy and gray tones are proving especially popular.

Quartz Countertops

Granite remains the countertop go-to, especially for those favoring natural elements, but quartz is gaining steam among buyers. A nearly indestructible, man-made material, quartz isn’t quite as porous as granite and, therefore, more resistant to bacteria. At the recent International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Staszak says quartz countertops were the definitive trend in kitchen counters.

Hardwood Floors with a Little Extra Flair

Hardwoods continue to be the flooring of choice for most homebuyers, though a swelling number are selecting hardwoods with a little more panache. The most popular option for a little flair? Five-inch hand-scrapped, pre-engineered hardwoods that carry a more rugged, artisan look, Ritchie says.

Oversized Showers

While some homebuyers continue to favor grand tubs in the master bathroom, there’s growing movement toward larger, seated showers in lieu of a tub. “And especially spa-like spaces featuring oversized showerheads and multiple water sources from the side and above,” Kanakes says.

Glam Lighting

Ritchie has noticed an adventurous spirit among Gallagher and Henry’s most recent homebuyers when it comes to lighting. Fun, crystal chandeliers now adorn bathrooms and bedrooms while bird cage pendants hover over kitchen islands and barrel lights line a kitchen wall as task lights.

Craftsman Doors

While painted white remains the dominant finish on doors, Kanakes and Ritchie have both observed homebuyers leaving the traditional six-panel door behind in favor of craftsman-styled three or five-panel designs. “Anything craftsman is really in style now,” Ritchie confirms.

Sliding Barn Doors

The Joanna Gaines/“Fixer Upper” Effect has spurred robust interest in rustic elements, including sliding barn doors. Such doors serve a functional purpose in dividing two distinct spaces, while also adding a whimsical look to any room.