Friday, December 3, 2010

Home for Charles R. Steele

From about 1887 to 1889, Joseph Silsbee's popularity as a fashionable residential architect seemed to soar and he became responsible for designs of structures for a myriad of lawyers, bankers and other notable local figures scattered across the country. At this time, he was at work on structures from Syracuse, New York to San Diego, California and all parts in between. Given that his primary office was in Chicago at the time, it is no surprise that the greatest number of these works were scattered across the state of Illinois.

In 1887, he was commissioned by banker and former City of Waukegan mayor, Charles R. Steele to design a substantial home, befitting his prominent social position. Sadly, it is unlikely that Steele ever saw his home completed as he died in 1888.          
The resulting design was one of Silsbee's largest homes of the period; a huge three-story mansion all made of stone with a massive turret at the corner and wide porches on two sides.  The style of the structure is a mixture of Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival.  An ogee-shaped roof caps the corner turret of the home.  Evidence suggests that Charles' son, Nelson, lived in the home but little more is known about the structure.  It was said to have been demolished in the 1980's after a fire. 

No comments: