Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Speculative Home for Harvey B. Hurd

Harvey Hurd began developing property just northwest of the center of the Village of Evanston in 1889.  One of the first homes he constructed was designed by J. L. Silsbee.  This set the tone for subsequent large homes for Hurd and Hurd Family members, all designed by prominant architects including Dwight Perkins, Myron Hunt, George Maher, and Walter Burley Griffin.   
The home that Silsbee designed was Shingle Style, similar to those that he was completing in the Edgewater suburb, a few miles south of Hurd's development.  Some of the features that make the home unique are it's large-scale windows, recessed balcony at the side gable and what appears to have once been a turret over the porch entry.
Some ornament decorates a panel between the two windows at the front gable and some windows still have their 12 over 1 sash fenestration.  Another important feature on the home is an open "piazza" that extends across the front of it.  It is a feature seen on many of Silsbee's buildings.  He believed that covered verandas created a dark appearance and blocked natural light from entering the structure so he argued for open piazzas with a movable awnings.  These allowed for more natural light and air in the building.  The wall around the piazza in the Hurd home is clad in shingles and is designed so that the element to blend in with the overall building composition.    
A major alteration to the home is a two-story addition on the north side of the structure.  It was designed by architects Tallmadge & Watson. and put on in 1925.   The home is in very good condition and is a good example of Silsbee's Shingle Style work.

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