Names of family members: Lakeisha Purchase and Courtney Williams, cat Tiger
Occupation(s): Courtney owns a construction company, renovates historic houses and owns rental properties and Lakeisha works at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Small Business Enterprise, for Gus Macker statewide 3-on-3 Street Ball, and assists Courtney in managing the rental properties
When did you move to Enos Park? April of 2015
What drew you to the neighborhood? We love renovating houses and had already completely renovated a house in Southern View that we were living in. But we kept hearing good things about Enos Park, and when we saw how friendly the neighborhood was, we wanted to invest and become a part of the revitalization of Enos Park. We ended up putting our house in Southern View on the market so that we could renovate a historic house like we had always dreamed.
What kind of activities have you gotten involved in around the neighborhood? I am currently a board member, Fundraising Chair and assist on the beautification team. In the summer, I help with the youth bicycle club. Very active with our neighbors and love to engage with them.
Was your house move in ready? Our home was nowhere near move in ready. It was a distressed property that we bought from Enos Park Development, it had been chopped up into a duplex and we basically had the shell to work with. It was a complete gut job. We restored the original wood siding so that we could paint it and built a new front porch to bring back the original character of the house. We replaced the roof and windows and tuckpointed the foundation. On the inside, we decided to go with a more modern concept so we created an open floor plan on the lower level. We combined some of the smaller rooms upstairs to make larger bedrooms, including a master suite with a Jacuzzi tub and rainforest shower. Our house also has a third floor attic and we finished it off to make an office and we use our basement for storage. The house was definitely a diamond in the rough; at one point it had been in danger of demolition, but a year after we bought it we received an award from the Historic Sites Commission for our renovation of the house.
What projects have you completed since moving in, or have planned for the near future? All three levels of the house are complete, but we plan to put a garage in back with a loft above the garage in the future.
Did you do any of the work yourself? Yes, we did a majority of the work ourselves, except for the mechanicals. Courtney designed all the layouts and completed our dream home with a open floor plan which we completed in five months. Because of our experience and interest in preservation, I was recently appointed to the Historic Sites Commission; I’m excited to share my knowledge with the board and be involved with projects around the City of Springfield.
Any advice for someone contemplating a move to the neighborhood and/or a renovation project? Yes, now is the time to become a property owner in the Enos Park neighborhood. If you do not have the experience to renovate your home, we have contractors in the area to help assist you.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Enos Park? We are a neighborhood family and we look out for our neighbors on a daily basis. We love to sit on our master deck and front porch in nice weather and have gotten to know all of the neighbors on our block.