2016 Chicago Open House – Case Bonita

14 Oct

Three years ago, I began an amazing adventure to learn more about my paternal grandfather, Alexander Capraro. As mentioned in my first post dated 10/2/13:

Through His Words: Reflections From and About My Grandfather

My grandfather was small in stature but large in accomplishment. He was the first Italian-American architect licensed in the state of Illinois and fortunately, a few of his buildings still stand for us to admire.

This weekend, the Chicago Architecture Foundation hosts its Open House Chicago.

OCTOBER 15-16, 2016

I am so proud that for the 6th time, Casa Bonita, designed in 1928 by my grandfather Alex and his partner Morris, is included in the festival. Quite an accomplishment for a man who, at the age of four, emigrated to America in 1899 with his parents.

Casa Bonita is considered a Spanish-Renaissance Revival apartment building.

Casa Bonita ©Photo by Charlene Ferguson

Casa Bonita ©Photo by Charlene Ferguson

There are 66 units in the U-shaped white terra-cotta building that surround a beautiful garden. The attention to detail can be seen everywhere.

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MTMattucci

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MMattucci

Besides its incredible structure, Casa Bonita has amenities including a library, a billiards room, and a large indoor pool.

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MTMattucci

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MMattucci


When it was built, I have been told, there was even a driving range on the roof.

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MTMattucci

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MMattucci

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MTMattucci

Casa Bonita ©Photo by MMattucci

If you are in or near Chicago this weekend, this is a unique opportunity to visit incredible historic landmarks, including Casa Bonita – all for free. Residents will be available to answer questions, give tours, and share their passion about this very special Chicago treasure.


My thanks to Mary, Linda and Charlene for rapid assistance with photos.

For more on Alex’s story, see below. And one last thought – When I began writing about my grandfather, I used the phrase: Through his Words... Now I can say,  Through his Words and Works…

Judy – a very proud granddaughter


Opening of Original Post 10/2/13

Through His Words: Reflections From and About My Grandfather (10/2/13)

I am about to begin an incredible adventure with my paternal grandfather. We will venture to Europe, via ship, and spend a month together touring Italy. During our stay, we will visit his birthplace, Pietrabbondante, a town he left with his parents when he was four years old to emigrate to the United States.

To continue reading, please click below:


12 Responses to “2016 Chicago Open House – Case Bonita”

  1. Jean October 14, 2016 at 6:39 PM #

    Wow. That is one gorgeous building complex.
    I used to be an interior designer in Toronto who worked with architects. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They have an amazing ability to create the most wonderful spaces. I just have to get to Chicago now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilary Martinez October 14, 2016 at 8:28 PM #


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Royce Larsen October 14, 2016 at 9:21 PM #

    The pictures and accompanying remarks were both moving
    You have much to be proud of as it is a beautiful structure and a testimonial to his talent
    However, if there had been more to read I would have required a hankerchief
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly October 15, 2016 at 5:59 AM #

      Get out your handkerchief and read the other 36 posts. They are the letters he wrote to Maude when he took the trip. If interested, use the categories menu upper right side, scroll down to “Through his words…., and click. I know you will enjoy, especially since you knew Maude.


  4. karenincalabria October 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM #

    Incredibly beautiful, fresh, pleasing design. You must be very proud, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael Lirones June 13, 2020 at 10:05 AM #

    Im a Real Estate Broker in Saint Joseph Michigan.

    Alexander V. Capraro designed:

    2707 Highland Court
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    5 beds 5 baths 4,242 sqft • #20021719

    Would love to help any future buyer purchase this gem!

    Michael Lirones
    Gold Realty

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly June 13, 2020 at 10:58 AM #

      Thanks for sending this. It looks exactly like something my grandfather would have done, based on other things I have seen. Really beautiful! Do you know when it was built?
      I will pass it on to all of my relatives. At least they will get to see it, and who knows, perhaps one might want to be the next owner! Good luck with your listing. Judy


  6. Mary Lee Reilley February 22, 2021 at 7:59 PM #

    Thank you for sharing this information. I believe I am related to your family. My grandmother was Maria Lena Capraro Silvestri (She was a sister of Alex) who was married to Adolpho Silvestri. I am the daughter of William John Silvestri, Sr. I feel very strong connections to my Italian heritage. Would love to know more family history.
    Mary Lee Silvestri Reilley

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly February 23, 2021 at 11:06 AM #

      Hi Mary, wow, thanks for your comment. I sent you an email. Judy


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