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George Blossom House, Frank Lloyd Wright 1892

Posted by George Pudlo on March 13, 2011 at 11:46 PM

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. 




Categories: Frank Lloyd Wright Chicago (IL), Bootleg Houses, Experimental & Transitional

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