A Historic Kenilworth, Illinois, Home Saved at the Last Hour

Skiff Home pic

Skiff Home
Image: chicago.curbed.com

As head of CH Ventures, LLC, in Chicagoland, Cameel Halim has pursued numerous development projects that involved the value-driven restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings. Cameel Halim was featured in a 2006 Chicago Sun-Times article that focused on his and his daughter Nefrette’s successful efforts to save the Skiff Home on 157 Kenilworth, in a storied northern suburb of Chicago.

The late 19th century prairie-style home was envisioned by Daniel Burnham, a well-known local architect who was director of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and creator of the Chicago Plan. Unfortunately, a wave of knock downs of historic Kenilworth homes was gaining momentum and the Skiff Home was undergoing a pre-demolition sell-off auction organized by a local developer. This involved the sale of moldings, doorknobs, and even staircase banisters.

The residence was saved at the last hour, as pressure from Citizens for Kenilworth caused the developer to reconsider her plans and agree to negotiate the sale of the Arts & Crafts home to Mr. Halim. The sale was a small victory, considering the larger issue in which Kenilworth civic leaders were unwilling to institute the landmark and historic district ordinances set in place by neighborhoods such as Lake Forest, claiming that they impinged on property owners’ rights.


Antique Clock Museum Opens in Illinois


Halim Family Museum of Time Glass pic

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass
Image: halimmuseum.com

The president of CH Ventures, LLC, Cameel Halim owns and manages real estate properties all over the Chicago area. A licensed structural engineer, Cameel Halim is an antique clock enthusiast.

Nearly a decade in the making, the Halim Museum of Time & Glass at 1560 Oak Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, was recently opened by Mr. Halim. The museum exhibits some of the oldest timepieces in the world, including a 17th-century elephant clock displaying a man tied to a tree that is circled by a leopard and lion every hour, a precision longcase clock that was used at the Princeton College observatory from 1817 to 1867, and a case clock that was used by the 10th Japanese shogun from 1760 to 1786.

Also on display is an early 20th-century English skeleton clock encased in a broken glass dome that has been glued together. The dome was shattered when Germans bombed London during World War II. Another timepiece on display is an ancient table clock that keeps time with a marble zigzagging along a track every 30 seconds.