917 N. 6th

Names of family members: Lakeisha Purchase and cat,Tiger

Occupation(s): I work at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Small Business Enterprise and serve as the Ward 5 alderwoman for the City of Springfield.

When did you move to Enos Park? April of 2015

What drew you to the neighborhood? I love renovating houses and had already completely renovated a house in Southern View that I was living in. But I kept hearing good things about Enos Park, and when I saw how friendly the neighborhood was, I wanted to invest and become a part of the revitalization of Enos Park. I ended up putting the Southern View house on the market so that I could renovate a historic house like I had always dreamed.

What kind of activities have you gotten involved in around the neighborhood? I served as an EPNIA board member, Fundraising Chair and assisted on the beautification team. In the summer, I helped with the youth bicycle club. I’m very active with our neighbors and love to engage with them.

Was your house move in ready? The home was nowhere near move in ready. It was a distressed property that I bought from Enos Park Development, it had been chopped up into a duplex and I basically had the shell to work with. It was a complete gut job. The original wood siding was restored so that I could paint it and built a new front porch to bring back the original character of the house. The roof and windows were replaced and the foundation tuckpointed. On the inside, I decided to go with a more modern concept and created an open floor plan on the lower level. Some of the smaller rooms upstairs were combined to make larger bedrooms, including a master suite with a Jacuzzi tub and rainforest shower. The house also has a third floor attic that was finished it off to make an office and the basement is used 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 I bought it, I received an award from the Historic Sites Commission for the 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, and this year I poured new concrete for the driveway and built a garage in back.

Did you do any of the work yourself? Yes, the majority of it, except for the mechanicals.

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. I love to sit on the master deck and front porch in nice weather and have gotten to know all of the neighbors on our block.