Thursday, October 7, 2010

Store and Flats for John Scovel

Silsbee is well known for the Shingle Style homes that he designed in the Edgewater Suburb in Chicago.  These are the homes that Frank Lloyd Wright cut his design teeth on.  Some have asserted that Silsbee even introduced the style to Chicago.  All of the buildings he designed in Edgewater were not in this style though.  In 1892, he designed a simple flat building for Edgewater resident and investor, John Scovel.      
The design of the building is almost vernacular in nature and has no stylistic ornamentation.  Instead, Silsbee relies on the building mass, with it's prominent corner tower (once topped with a conical roof) and careful detail of materials as keynotes to this design.  Note the fine metal trim and banding and use of fairly complex metal profiles framing windows and panels in the bay and turret.  This same attention in metal work is seen in a band of metal trim at the roof level and another at the coping.      
Though the turret roof is missing and the storefront and windows have been completely altered, the building still retains much of its detail and it is the last known surviving work by Silsbee in Edgewater.  It stands just blocks from the site of Silsbee's former home and would have been within a short walking distance of dozens of other Silsbee designed structures.  You can find more information about Scovel's building and other structures in Edgewater in the "Articles" on the Edgewater Historical Society website.  

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