Iconic pink house in West Side Austin neighborhood needs restoration, family starts fundraising campaign

CHICAGO (WLS) -- You haven't seen the West Side of Chicago until you've seen the Pink and White house in Austin.

The house, located on North Central Ave. and Ohio Street, has been a neighborhood landmark for 30 years. But after the passing of their father, who repaired everything, the Anderson family is asking their community to help them restore and repair the property.

"Like the West Side of Chicago, the house has a lot of nicks and bruises and cuts when you first look at it," said co-owner Yolanda Anderson.

"But when you look deeper like when you look at the community and you look at the people in the community, you see the strength and you see the beauty and you see the love that's there."

Anderson's parents are from the South, where they each grew up in colorful houses.

"We tried to bring some of the love and colors of the home down south where we came from, and we just put it into this home," said Wilhelmina Anderson, Yolanda's mother.

Along with being a pastor, Wilhelmina's husband had been the do-it-all repairman at home. But he grew ill around 5 years ago, and died two years ago.

"He passed away April 16, on Easter Sunday, in 2017, which was really hard for us. He actually passed here in the house," Yolanda said. "After we were dealing with that, dealing with our grief with him, we started to really notice what was going on with the house."

Issues with the roof, porch, ceiling, fence, plumbing, and electrical all started to impact quality of life for the Anderson family.

With extremely high cost for repairs - and unable to locate funds through grants and city programs - the family initially thought their only choice was to put the house on the market. However, the only offers they received would not afford the Andersons enough money to relocate, and the potential purchasers intended to demolish the home.

Jeanne Keating, a realtor from At Properties, fell in love with the property as soon as the Anderson family contacted her. After nearly a year without reasonable bids, Keating encouraged her clients to try crowdsourcing.

"Maybe we can try and exhaust all remedies and rally together and hopefully keep them here," Keating said. "I feel that the pink and white house symbolizes love. So does At Properties. I think we're gonna do this."

You can find more information about the house on the Anderson family's GoFundMe campaign. They aim to raise $300,000 to completely restore the house, and hope to fix the roof, ceilings, and electrical wiring before winter.
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