Story Published in October 2015
Anne-Marie Malfait is a scientist at Rush University in Chicago. Her area of expertise is Rheumatology. After completing her MD and PhD at Ghent University, she moved to the United Kingdom to study at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (Imperial College, London). While she was living in England, she met her future husband, Marcus. They lived in London for a couple years. It is where their son, Sebastian, was born.
In 2001, Anne-Marie was offered a position with a large pharmaceutical company in Chicago, Illinois. The family moved to Chicago, but soon after she was transferred to Saint Louis, MO. They stayed in Saint Louis for almost 6 years. Anne-Marie enjoyed being a researcher in the private corporation world but missed working on a university campus. In 2009, she was hired at Rush University in Chicago. The family moved to Oak Park, Illinois.
They chose Oak Park in the metropolitan area of Chicago for several reasons. On the top of offering excellent school districts, Oak Park has an astonishing architecture heritage. The village features many Frank Lloyd Wright designed properties. As it turns out, architecture has been Sebastian’s passion since his very young age.
Anne-Marie and her family purchased a lovely historical house designed by Wright’s assistant, John Van Bergen. Van Bergen was known for his ability to combine prairie style buildings with affordability and livability. Some of his work was commissioned by women. When Anne-Marie visited the place for the first time, she literally fell in love with the house. It feels like a tree-house. It has an ingenious open floor plan, built-in bookshelves and beautiful windows. Anne-Marie immediately felt at home. She was surprised to be able to afford this gem. The home has an incredible story.
Her house had been totally restored to its original state by the previous owner, John Thorpe. Mister Thorpe is a noted restauration architect who founded the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Having no children, he dedicated his life to restoring the house to its original state. It was his master piece, his soul. When he had to separate himself from the residence, he was extremely sad.
Fortunately, Mister Thorpe has been friend with the family from the moment they bought the house. As a matter of fact, Sebastian volunteers his time for the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Mister Thorpe has passed on his knowledge about the history of the residence to Sebastian, who is now able to give a precise presentation on every room. They are still in contact to this day.
Anyone who steps into Anne-Marie’s place falls in love with it. The magical atmosphere is enhanced by Anne-Marie’s love of books and antiques.
Anne-Marie loves the feel of paper on her hand. She tries to avoid reading on a computer screen as much as she can. She usually prints scientific papers in order to read them. She has always surrounded herself with books for as long as she remembers. It is a passion she shares with Sebastian.
They have transformed a bedroom into a library. Anne-Marie joked around saying that they never have enough book shelves; it is why piles of book keep growing out of the floor. This paranormal phenomenon already happened when Sebastian was a little child.
Anne-Marie spends a lot of hours working but she really loves what she does. She has published a lot of papers on osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. When she does not work or read, Anne-Marie also enjoys traveling the world with her family. They already have visited a few continents. She also enjoys quiet moments at her house and home made family meals.