Kitchen Walk to highlight Hinsdale's great outdoors

The coveted outdoor spaces of seven Hinsdale homes, with perennials in bloom, pristine pools and immaculately manicured gardens and pathways, will be showcased at this year's Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk Outdoor Edition next month.

Pivoting on the traditional Kitchen Walk fundraiser, consisting of tours of the first floors of several Hinsdale homes, this year the Hinsdale Historical Society is unveiling its new outdoor event to continue to celebrate Hinsdale's history, while being cognizant of social distancing.

And this year, the nonprofit is striving to fundraise in double time in an attempt to help fill the gap after last year's Kitchen Walk was canceled due to COVID-19.

"Funds raised by this event will be urgently needed to bring the R. Harold Zook Home and Studio at Katherine Legge to a certain baseline to prevent further deterioration," said Kristen Laakso, society president. "Noted architect Michael Abraham and contractor John Adams of HomeCrafters estimate that this initial work will total more than $500,000. Reaching this goal, bit by bit, in addition to covering our other operating costs, is our focus this year."

Laakso added that the society is particularly motivated by local donors who have generously offered to match funds, which will go toward this preservation effort.

In keeping with the society's recognition of R. Harold Zook, one home on the tour was built by the renowned architect in 1936. According to owners Tracy and Craig Zoberis, who renovated the home in 2015, guests who tour the outdoor spaces of their English Tudor revival will have a chance to view Zook's unique architectural elements, including original limestone detail, terraces and curved staircases as well as intricate scalloped woodworking.

"We were drawn to this Zook for its unique style, history and charm and to have the opportunity to renovate a historically significant home," Tracy Zoberis said. "We learned that Zook designed many of his homes to feature a surprise element in both exteriors and interiors. Over a two-year design and build process, we strove to stay true to Zook's unique design elements."

The home's original limestone was meticulously matched for the addition. The swimming pool was designed to be a "reflecting pond" since most homes built in that era would not feature turquoise pools, but water features. The home's window trim and upper balcony showcase Zook's use of scalloped woodwork. And Zook's signature trademark, the spiderweb, can be seen in a window in one of the archways supporting an upper terrace and walkway.

Ticket holders are invited to tour the seven homes on the Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk Outdoor Edition on Friday, June 25, during two time slots: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (The Zoberis home only be open only during the morning time slot).

According to Ruta Brigden, who is chairing the event with Liz Oliverio and Walker Rediehs, guests will sample food and beverages at each home from restaurants and caterers, including the newly opened Vistro Prime along with Altamura Pizza, Nabuki, Il Mio, Fuller House and Gravylady. Merchandise from local businesses also will be available for purchase.

As with past Kitchen Walk events, guests will have the opportunity to purchase VIP/trolley tickets for either the morning or afternoon tours, which include a pre-party morning event at Fuller House as well as an evening event held at a private residence. To ensure social distancing, trolleys might operate at a decreased capacity and there will be a maximum number of tickets sold for each home.

To purchase general admission and VIP tickets, please visit

- Alexis Braden of Hinsdale is the paper's society columnist.

Readers can email her at

[email protected].