A Wintery Visit To Winslow House
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Yesterday was cold, windy, and snowy in Chicago. But winter's icy presence did not dampen the excitement of being able to see Frank Lloyd Wright's first independent commission: The William H. Winslow House in River Forest, IL (1894). See more after the jump... Pamela Tilton, real estate broker at Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, and Peter Walker of the Walker family were kind enough to extend an invitation to my wife and I to tour and...
Yesterday was cold, windy, and snowy in Chicago. But winter's icy presence did not dampen the excitement of being able to see Frank Lloyd Wright's first independent commission: The William H. Winslow House in River Forest, IL (1894). See more after the jump...Pamela Tilton, real estate broker at Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, and Peter Walker of the Walker family were kind enough to extend an invitation to my wife and I to tour and enjoy food and drink at one of the most iconic (and elusive) of Wright's architectural works. Why elusive? The home has rarely been open to the public in the 55 years that the Walker family has owned it.
However, the Winslow House will be officially up for sale in December 2013 for $2.4 million and as a special event in advance of the sale, a select number of Chicagoland Wright home owners and preservation enthusiasts (including myself) were invited to enjoy the warmth of the house at the November 25, 2013 event. Several Wright home owners were there and also helping coordinate the event were the good people from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. I was able to snap a few quick pics here and there to give PrairieMod readers the chance to experience the wonderful Winslow House as well:
It was wonderfully cozy inside, and the low light given off by the specially-designed cast iron sconces bathed the intricately carved woodwork and the hand-placed mosaic tile in the stunning entry inglenook in a honey-colored glow.
Arched doors on either side of the inglenook had art glass patterns similar to the pattern Wright used in his own Oak Park Home's dining room.
The main living room had a surprise—an angled bay window and built-in bench seat—as part of its design. The house had been carpeted for the time that the Walker family lived here. Recently, that carpet was removed and the quarter-sawn white oak floors refinished. This party was the debut of these newly finished floors and they looked fantastic.
One of the cast iron sconces found around the house. The intricate foilage design recalls the influence of Wright's "Liebermeister," Louis Sullivan.
The dining room looking towards the generous brick fireplace with built-in side display cabinets.
Immediately off the dining room is probably the best room in the house: the iconic seated nook with its intricate art glass window designs. I could sit there for a lifetime and find something new and exciting in its design to enjoy.
The library had plenty of built-in shelves and seating to offer a warm retreat for study.
As we said our goodbyes, I lingered in the frosty night air for a moment to capture a parting image of my favorite design detail: The amazingly and intricately carved tree on the home's front door.
A truly magical evening at a magical home! The Walker family have been remarkable stewards of this special place for over half a century and their loving care shows in every small and large detail of the house. Whomever is lucky enough to become the next stewards of the Winslow House will hopefully love it as much as they did and keep it shining as an example of Frank Lloyd Wright's genius for generations to come. If you would like to learn more about possibly becoming that next steward, contact Pamela Tilton at 312.446.7714 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos copyright PrairieMod