Aurora Historic District: Residential Walking Tour

It’s been a while since I’ve published a walking tour of historic homes. As it just so happened, hubby and I went to see Shen Yun in Aurora, Illinois, which has a lot of older homes. We decided to go back on Sunday to snap some photos of the west side Aurora historic district.

There were so many historic homes to enjoy on our Sunday walk. I need to share all the beautiful homes in a few posts. I fell head over heals in love with this purple Italianate charmer.

Purple Victorian House in Aurora Historic District


Just look at the details on the facade. Note the pairing of green, cream, and deep purple on the windows, and the architectural embellishment at the top of the 12-over-12 windows.

Purple Victorian House in Aurora Historic District


I don’t know what it is about purple houses that gets me every time. I’m not a huge fan of the shade but there’s just something about purple on a historic home. My favorite house in Naperville is also purple.

Front Door of Purple Historic Home


If you like a more subdued Victorian, you might enjoy this 3-story charmer in the Aurora Historic District. It has a beautiful turret and pretty trim. Plus I love that second story balcony.

Tan 3-Story Victorian Home in Aurora Historic District


More than one painted lady in the historic district has a second story balcony. Look closely and you’ll see the pair of painted rockers on the balcony. How fun to sit out there and watch the world go by!

Painted Lady in Aurora Historic District


Our Sunday walk was so inspiring! I thought about waiting a couple of weeks when the trees would have leaves, but bare branches make it easier to see the houses.

Green and Yellow Painted Lady in Aurora Historic District


As we walked I wondered how the owners decided what colors to use on their home’s exteriors.

Historic Victorian Home in Aurora, Illinois


This beautiful blue Queen Anne Victorian home was also one of my favorites of the day. Such a pretty home with amazing detail – even the street lamps in the west side Aurora Historic District are delightful.

Beautiful Blue Victorian house with turret


Not all of the older homes are painted ladies. You’ll see a variety of homes in this neighborhood, like this gorgeous Tudor.

American Tudor Style Home in Aurora, Illinois


A stately Neoclassical style white home looks like it could’ve been in a movie. Hubby made up a story about this house being haunted. He told me to check all the windows in the photos to see if a ghostly face was peering out.

Stately White-Pillared Historic Home


Right around the corner is another jaw-dropping gorgeous home. Sigh.

Red Brick Italianate Historic House with White Trim and Cupola


Just imagine all that you can see from the cupola. The river, the downtown area, the surrounding historic homes. We gazed at all the amazing details on this home for quite a few minutes. It’s just stunning.

Red Brick Italianate Historic House with White Trim and Cupola


It was hard to capture this home’s beauty all in one photo. Think of all the craftsmanship that went into this home. I wonder how long it took to build this home.

Red Brick Italianate Historic House with White Trim and Cupola


I have more photos of the west side Aurora Historic District, but I’ll save them for another day.

Do you have a favorite house on today’s walking tour?


Enjoy More Beautiful Home Exteriors:

Historic Homes of Sycamore

Charming Homes in Riverside

13 Houses with Great Curb Appeal

Walking Tour of Ottawa

13 Beautiful Home Exteriors in Geneva 


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  1. WOW ! Truly beautiful homes. I would have never thought of using 3 & 4 colours on the outside of a home. It goes so well together. Those homes are truly work of art. The detail and qualtiy are hard to find. Thank you for sharing.

    1. So glad you enjoyed the homes, Cheryl! My father had a painting business on the side (he was a teacher) and always said never to use more than 3 colors on a house. But I love the look of several colors to bring out all the trim and details. It would probably take me a year to choose the colors!

  2. We have come a long way from all homes being custom build to suit personalities. Now, we try to find the perfect one in the builders choice LOL. . I do like the wrap-a -round porches in the older home, I even like all of the wasted space of beauty. I suppose you could say I am a dreamer. I enjoyed all of the photos.

    1. You and I think alike, Margaret. I too like the “wasted space of beauty.” I always envision what it must be like to live in each one. I wish I could just knock on the door and ask them to give me a tour of the interior! 🙂

  3. Hi Jennifer, Just wanted to say I love your walking tours. Makes me want to visit the area because every house is beautiful.Have a great day.

  4. Beautiful tour – and what you said about choosing colors is absolutely right. It’s hard enough to choose an interior paint color that is easily changed, so I can’t imagine the angst of choosing 3 or 4 colors for the exterior of a large and historical home. This would certainly be an instance where you need to get it right the first time. I can so appreciate the architecture of these old homes, but wow, what a lot of upkeep they would be. Of course, I guess if you can afford a home like this, you can afford to hire someone to keep it in great condition. My favorite things about homes of this genre are the many porches – front, back and side. You would have to carry me kicking and screaming back inside from a comfy chair on one of those porches.

    1. Hi Pat! I’m right there with you regarding the porches! The homes are more beautiful in person than in the photos, but I thought the same as you. It would be a lot of upkeep. I checked out some of the houses in the area that were for sale and surprisingly, they were less expensive than I thought they’d be. A good place to move if you want an affordable, older large home.

  5. I love your walking tours! I grew up just south of Aurora, and still have family there. Your tours are a taste of home for me. Thank you for sharing.

  6. These are pretty. You haven’t done one of these posts in long time. Good to see you being back to you. These walls are you.

    The purple house had great detail. That was my pick until the end when brick beauty appeared. Love


    1. Thanks, Cindy! I’m going to try and find time to get out and do more of these tours over the summer. We have so many great towns with historic districts.

  7. It is hard to pick just one, they all have a different feature on each that makes each and everyone special. The design over the windows, the different shaped windows, the fronts and sides, the details are lovingly added. I love old houses and enjoyed this tour, thanks Jennifer.

    1. Marlene, you just mentioned everything I love about older homes! 🙂 I wish they added more of these unique elements to today’s houses – I understand it gets expensive quickly, though. So glad you enjoyed the tour!

  8. I lived on the west side of Aurora for 22 years. I moved to Wisconsin about 2 years ago. It was a joy to see the homes I used to drive by on a regular basis. I watched the renovation of the subdued Victorian with the second balcony for many years. I really love the cupola house. That house didn’t look very good for a long time but it’s looking much better. The purple Itallianate is really striking. I like the new simple landscaping that they have done.

    1. Hi Cathy!
      Thank you so much for leaving a comment! It must have been amazing to watch that Victorian being rebuilt. I love when people save old homes. There are a few in the neighborhood that could use some renovation (one with the porch literally falling off). Hopefully in time someone will buy them and fix them up. It does appear that this seems to be the trend in that area. I have several more photos of the west side that I plan to share soon on the blog!

  9. Aurora’s Historic District is beautiful. It’s uncanny how much it reminds me of our historic district here in Ocala!
    I have a dear friend who grew up in that area. Her name is Claudia Volkman. We visited her and hubby, Scott about 30 years ago. It’s a really beautiful area.

    1. Hi Deb! I love when people tell me they know of someone from an area I’ve featured on the blog. Or people who used to live in the area and moved away. If I’m ever in Ocala, I’ll have to bring my camera for a visit to the historic district!

  10. Gorgeous, gorgeous homes! It’s difficult to chose a favorite…I think I’d be happy with any of them…even the “haunted” one. xoxo

    1. Hi Donna! I love them all, too. That “haunted” one was huge! I didn’t include the side shot of it that shows its size, because the yard was kind of messy and unattractive. I found out the house once served as a hospital during an influenza outbreak. So it’s quite possible people died while there – and it might just really be haunted!

  11. I’m sorry to say my daughter lives in North Aurora and yet when we visit her, we always go to Naperville. I didn’t realize Aurora had such lovely houses and some good restaurants. Next time we visit, we’ll be going to downtown Aurora and checking it out.

    1. Naperville has beautiful homes, too! I didn’t realize that Aurora has 5 separate historic districts. We only visited the one on the west side by Aurora University, so I need to go back and visit the other districts too.

  12. I have to confess the purple Victorian is my favorite. Plus, the owners of this beautiful “mansion” are the next door neighbors of my daughter and family. They were so kind when my “kids” moved in 2 years ago. I remember how stunned I was to see the beautiful purple home. And by the way, I adore my daughter’s home as well!! Actually the whole street has beautiful homes and it’s a long street!

    1. Hi Elaine!

      What a great story! I love when people who recognize a house leave me a comment. I may have taken a photo of your daughter’s house. I took so many photos that I’m sharing them over the next couple of weeks. There were too many beautiful homes to share in one post.

  13. Thank you so much for these awesome pictures, I appreciate old homes as I grew up in a 1896 Victorian in northwest Iowa. WIsh I could live in any one of these beauties! ❣️

  14. Love the brick with the “widow’s walk.” Would love to see the interior. Do they ever have open houses at the holidays?