FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT TOURS IN OAK PARK

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT TOURS IN OAK PARK AND THE ILLUSTRATED FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT GUIDE TO OAK PARK

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Charles E Roberts House Remodel, Frank Lloyd Wright 1896

Posted by George Pudlo on December 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Charles E Roberts House Remodel, 1896
321 N Euclid Avenue
Oak Park, IL

Frank Lloyd Wright was hired by Charles E Roberts to remodel this house in 1896. Although unremarkable in its features, the house bears much historical significance in the fact that it was originally designed by Burnham and Root in 1879. This is the only house worked on by both of these brilliant architectural sources. The same sequence of architectural design would be seen almost a decade later when Wright remodeled the lobby of Burnham and Root's Rookery Building in 1905. 

Frank Lloyd Wright and Daniel Burnham would have known each other personally by the time of this remodel. In fact, Daniel Burnham had offered Frank Lloyd Wright the deal of a lifetime. 

After Frank Lloyd Wright designed the William Winslow House in River Forest in 1894, Ed Waller, a wealthy developer, admired the house from his own home across the street. Waller invited his good friend Daniel Burnham to a dinner at his River Forest home, along with Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife Kitty. This was no ordinary dinner as Frank Lloyd Wright discovered when Waller invited him and Daniel Burnham into his library and locked the door. By this point,  the wildly successful World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 had been over for a year, and Burnham's chief design partner, John Root, had been dead for more than three years. Recognizing Wright's talent, Daniel Burnham offered to send Wright to Paris for four years to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, all expenses paid, followed by two years of study in Rome. As for Wright's family, Burnham would also cover their living expenses while Wright was away. Upon his return, Wright would be Daniel Burnham's new partner. Wright was shocked by the offer. Both flattered and grateful, he declined. Although Wright was no longer with Louis Sullivan's firm, he proclaimed that Sullivan had spoiled the Beaux-Arts for him. He dreaded the idea of America becoming an extension of Europe, filled with dead replicas of the ancient Greek and Roman architectures. 

Frank Lloyd Wright's passing of the offer showed the true determination of the young architect to fulfill his quest of a new American Architecture. It's strange to envision how the course of architecture, specifically in Chicago, would have been altered had there been the architectural firm of Burnham & Wright.

George Smith House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1896

Posted by George Pudlo on December 16, 2011 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

George Smith House
404 S Home Avenue
Oak Park, IL

With its shingled façade, the George Smith House resembles Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home, just blocks away. One can see through the front windows and out the back of the house, a testament to the house’s open floor plan. The double pitch roof is characteristic of Wright’s early phase of design and gives a party hat appearance to the house. The eaves extend far over the walls of the house. Note how they help to shade the windows beneath the roof. Diamond paned art glass windows grace the front of the house. Wright would eliminate the tall chimneys in his later work.

Peter Goan House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1893

Posted by George Pudlo on November 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Peter Goan House

108 S Eighth Avenue, La Grange, Illinois, 60525

The Peter Goan House, in La Grange, Illinois, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1893, the first year that Wright was on his own. The house is not Wright's most aesthetically exhilarating piece of architecture, but demonstrates some structural innovations as well as early Prairie characteristics. The massing of the house is square, with a medium hipped roof. This would have been an early use of the overhanging roof eaves that would dominate Wright's Prairie period. The house does contain an attic with dormers. This, along with the double hung windows and the board and batten wooden siding brought up to the second floor indicate the Peter Goan House was early in Wright's portfolio. 

Robert G Emmond House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1892

Posted by George Pudlo on November 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Robert G Emmond House

109 S Eighth Ave, La Grange, Illinois 60525

The date of the Robert Emmond House, 1892, indicates that this is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's bootleg houses, being that it was not an Adler & Sullivan commission. The Emmond House is very similar to the Robert Parker and Thomas Gale houses of Oak Park, virtually identical in fact, though mirrored. Despite its Victorian massing, the house maintains a strong sense of geometry, with sharp lines and angles, giving it a modern edge. The beautiful ribbon of diamond paned art glass windows wrapped around the polygonal bay is a common feature of Wright's. Unlike the Gale and Parker Houses, the house has arched entryways, again reminiscent of Louis Sullivan. The side porch was a later addition. 

W Irving Clark House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1893

Posted by George Pudlo on November 23, 2011 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)



W Irving Clark House

211 S La Grange Road, La Grange, Illinois 60525

The W Irving Clark House was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's first independent commissions after leaving (being fired from) the firm of Adler & Sullivan in 1893, and beginning in his own firm. The Clark House is similar to Frank Lloyd Wright's own home in Oak Park in terms of its cross gabled massing. The house has a strong sense of geometry, and the first feature one notices is the giant triangular gable taking up the majority of the houses front facade. The arched entrance is reminiscent of Louis Sullivan. Polygonal bays flank the entrance. There is a sense of symmetry in the house, despite its irregular, though frequent, bays. Unlike the shingled facade of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home, the Clark House is covered in horizontal, wooden clapboard siding. The house maintains a variety of features common to the fashionable homes of the day, as seen in the experimental and transitional works of Frank Lloyd Wright's early Chicago years.

Robert Lamp House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1903

Posted by George Pudlo on November 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Robert Lamp House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1903. Madison, Wisconsin.


Located in the center of Madison, the Robert Lamp House was built just a few blocks from Wisconsin's state capitol. 

The landmark plack in front of the house reads:

Robert Lamp House

1903

This unusual midblock residence was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his boyhood friend, "Robie" Lamp, a realtor and insurance salesman. The simple, boxy shape of the house, with its open floor plan, was very modern for the time. Wright called it "New American" in style. While the diamond paned casement windows were "Old English" in inspiration. The penthouse on the roof is a later addition, replacing an elegant roof garden complete with grape arbors and a greenhouse. Please respect the privacy of the residents.

Designated January 28, 1976

Madison Landmarks Commission 

Chauncey Williams House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1895

Posted by George Pudlo on May 15, 2011 at 11:33 PM Comments comments (0)

Chauncey Williams House
530 Edgewood Place
River Forest, IL 60305

The Chauncey Williams House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1895, during his experimental and transitional phase leading up to the development of the Prairie Style. The Chauncey Williams House is a tripartite structure, reminiscent of Louis Sullivan's idea, with a clearly defined base, shaft, and capital. The base of the Chauncey Williams House is made of roman brick, Wright's favorite choice of brick in his early career. The base is also marked by large built in stones of different shapes and sizes. Most reminiscent of Louis Sullivan is the arched entryway with "Sullivanesque" ornamental features. The roof of the Chauncey Williams House is very steeply pitched, a characteristic Wright would eliminate in his Prairie Style for a flat or low hipped roof. Additionally, the shingled roof features highly stylized dormer windows and overhanging roof eaves. Frank Lloyd Wright used roman brick for the chimney as well.

Waller Apartments, Frank Lloyd Wright 1895

Posted by George Pudlo on April 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)



Waller Apartments

2840-2858 W Walnut Street

Chicago, IL 60612

The Waller Apartments  designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the west side of Chicago are another sad story. A collection of five connected apartment buildings made up the Waller Apartments. There are currently only four buildings standing, as the second apartment building from left to right was destroyed by a fire in the 1960's. It is still an empty lot where the apartment building once stood, and subsequently takes away from the unity designated by the row of Frank Lloyd Wright apartment buildings. Each of the five Waller Apartments buildings was divided into four units, but have since been divided into two townhouses each. 

An interesting feature of the buildings as they stand today is that portions of the buildings have been cleaned, revealing the intense yellow color of the bricks, while other portions of the buildings remain buried under decades of dirt. It is so dramatic that it looks like different colored bricks were used for each of the units, while they are actually all of a uniform color. Floral ornament on the exterior of the building points to Frank Lloyd Wright's influence from his previous employer Louis Sullivan. The Waller Apartments were built approximately two years after Wright was dismissed from Sullivan's firm.

Fortunately the Waller Apartments is a Chicago Landmark, meaning they are protected from demolition. However, a Chicago Landmark is only required to maintain its appearance according to the year it was Landmarked -not the year it was built. A Chicago Landmark plaque in the ground in front of the Waller Apartments reads:

"Commissioned by prominent real estate developer Edward Carson Waller to meet the demand for affordable housing, these apartments are considered among the earliest examples of subsidized housing in Chicago. The simplified design of the facade indicates the young architect's departure from traditional design toward the abstract, modern principles for which he was later internationally known." Designated on March 2, 1994.

George Blossom House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1892

Posted by George Pudlo on March 13, 2011 at 11:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Located in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago, the George Blossom House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest designs completed in 1892. The George Blossom House is also one of the bootleg houses that Frank Lloyd Wright completed while still employed with the firm of Adler & Sullivan. It is one house south of the Warren MacArthur House, another of Frank Lloyd Wright's bootleg homes. The juxtaposition of these two 1892 Frank Lloyd Wright Homes is incredible, as the viewer, even if he was not a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast, would conclude that the two home were not created by the same architect because of how vastly different they are.

The George Blossom House is unlike any other of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs. Sometimes declared Dutch Colonial, Neoclassical, or Palladian,  the George Blossom House also has undertones of a Prairie Style Home. It could even be considered a very early Prairie Home. Though the ornament of the structure points to a home of European influence (and simultaneously demonstrates Wright's ability to build in the European tradition despite his negative attitude toward doing so), the general massing of the house points to the Prairie Style. The formation of the front of the house looks similar to that of the Winslow House, though without the frieze of ornament beneath the roofline. The George Blossom House has a low hipped roof with overhanging eaves that would be seen in Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style Houses nearly a decade later. 

The house is beautiful, though it looks fragile and could certainly use a little work. The front porch looks dangerously decayed and the wooden spindles of the side porch are so warped they are nearly touching each other, but there is a certain beauty in this. The George Blossom House sits on a corner lot, so when walking around the side of the house, one can see that the back of the house differs from the front in its massing -it has a rounded bay that pushes out of the back of the home. The detailing in the window-work is pristine. 

Frank Lloyd Wright would later build a detached garage behind the George Blossom House that is designed in full Prairie Style. It mimics the general massing of the actual home, but is stripped of historic influence. The low hipped roof and overextending eaves match the home, and the additional use of yellow Roman bricks, ribbons of windows,  and general formation make the house Prairie Style. 




George Furbeck House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1897

Posted by George Pudlo on December 17, 2010 at 2:23 AM Comments comments (0)



George Furbeck House, 1897

223 N Euclid Avenue, Oak Park IL

The George Furbeck House was completed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1897, it is from his experimental and transitional phase leading up to the Prairie Style of homes. The George Furbeck House is one of two houses that Warren Furbeck commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design for his two sons George and Rollin as wedding gifts. There are few elements in the George Furbeck House that Wright would carry over into his fully mature Prairie Style, save for the intricate wood banding around the windows between the two towers and the over hanging roof eaves. When the Prairie Style was fully evolved, Wright would eliminate the texturizing of the brick. Overall the house maintains a stout, fortress like appearance due to the two polygonal towers. Originally the house had an open faced porch that was later covered.

Rollin Furbeck House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1897

Posted by George Pudlo on December 17, 2010 at 2:21 AM Comments comments (0)





Rollin Furbeck House, 1897

515 Fair Oaks Avenue, Oak Park IL

The Rollin Furbeck House was completed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1897, another transitional home in the phase leading up to the Prairie Style. Warren Furbeck commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design two homes for his sons as wedding gifts. The Rollin Furbeck House has many more elements leading up to the Prairie Style than his brother George's house. If you imagine the central portion of the house eliminated, it looks as if a Prairie Style house is tucked back behind the central, vertical portion with its low hipped roof, overhanging eaves and general massing. 

Harry Goodrich House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1896

Posted by George Pudlo on December 17, 2010 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)



Harry Goodrich House, 1896

534 N East Avenue, Oak Park IL

The Harry Goodrich House was completed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1896. The Harry Goodrich House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's transitional/experimental homes leading up to the Prairie Style. Like the Francis Woolley House, the horizontal clapboard siding is brought up to the second level of the home. Geometrical windows form the bay that pushes out of the front of the house. The most interesting feature of the home, though, is the roof -it appears as if Frank Lloyd Wright took a high pitched roof and placed it on top of a low hipped roof, making the house look as if it's wearing a party hat. 

The Harry Goodrich House is currently undergoing renovations to fix the roof. The staircase that wraps around to the front of the house is temporary, and was not originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


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