For almost 10 years, Cameel Halim and his family have spearheaded preservation efforts In Kenilworth, a community marked by unique homes with strong architectural details. One notable preservation effort was the saving of Skiff House, rescued less than a week before the historic property’s scheduled demolition. The structure, built in 1908, was designed by influential Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, and was being auctioned piece by piece when Cameel Halim intervened.
Since immigrating to the United States from Egypt in 1968, Cameel Halim has built a reputation on renovation, rather than on demolition. In 1982, he purchased and refurbished a troubled apartment building in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, opting to restore and keep as many of its original features as possible. Previously, the building had been an eyesore without stable, long-term tenants, but Mr. Halim oversaw a complete change in the building’s appearance and grew it to 100 percent occupancy. That dedication continues today in his efforts to preserve and restore the historic homes of his community.