|Posted by George Pudlo on December 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
Al Borah House
265 Donlea Road
Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Frank Lloyd Wright always had a fascination with developing beautiful, low cost mass housing. His first venture with this concept was in conjunction with the Richards Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Wright's office produced nearly one thousand projects. These houses are referred to as the American System Built Homes. The cost of construction was reduced by cutting the lumber at the factory before delivery, though they are not considered to be prefabricated homes because they were not preassembled, only precut, before delivery to any given site.
In the 1950's, Frank Lloyd Wright's last decade of work, he collaborated with Marshall Erdman, a contractor who built Wright's 1947 Unitarian Meeting House in Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. Wright discovered that Erdman was offering prefabricated houses, and Wright suggested he could design better prefabricated homes for cheaper. By 1956, Wright had developed three Usonian like prefab models for Erdman. Prefab #1 resulted in nine completed homes. Prefab #2 resulted in two completed houses. No Prefab #3 models were ever built.
The Al Borah House in Barrington Hills, Illinois, completed in 1957, is one of the nine Erman Prefab #1 models that were built. The house is named not for the original occupant, but rather for the builder of the home, Al Borah. It was originally used as an exhibition house. The first occupant of the home after the exhibition was named Frederick Post.
The current owners have lived in the Al Borah House since the late 1960's. One of the owner's daughters who grew up in the house was kind enough to provide some information and a view of the home's interior for this article. She commented that the house is very special.
The Al Borah House is L-shaped in floor plan. The smaller section of the L is an enclosed garage with a sheltered walkway leading to the interior of the house. One enters through the kitchen from the sheltered walkway, and is lead to a massive, central block of brick containing the fireplace, and living area. The longer section of the L- shaped floor plan contains the four bedrooms of the house. This is a rare example of a Wright home containing a basement, as the Al Borah House is built gently into a rolling hill that overlooks a pond.
Interior view of hallway with built in cabinets. Bedrooms are on opposite side of windowed facade.
Special thanks to Hugo Davila for providing the exterior photographs.
|Posted by George Pudlo on May 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|