In 1984 after working together on several projects, Peter Von Dreele and Doug Freerksen joined forces to form Von Dreele – Freerksen Construction Co. While Pete’s background was in business and education, Doug’s was in sculpture and the fine arts. Both had a deep interest in historical structures and residential architecture.
During the first few years, the small company had an office in Pete’s basement in Oak Park’s first historic district. Surrounded by housing stock built around the turn of the last century, the young company found inspiration in the endless supply of homes in need of attention. From the very first days of the company’s existence, Pete and Doug believed that each home and each owner was unique and deserved creative and resourceful attention to their needs and conditions. Repair and remodeling was never a matter of appliqué or embellishment, but an honest restoration of that which is good, and enhancement where it is appropriate.
The underlying principles of the company have always been based on respect: respect for the architecture of a building, respect for the owners, and respect for employees and associates.