Hopefully, for the handful of visitors that follow or stumble upon this blog, I have started to dispel a misconception that Silsbee's work declined in quality and that he dissappeared into oblivion a few years after the World's Columbian Exposition. In fact, the trajectory of his career seems to follow national trends and he was able to continue adapting his design skills to a wide variety of styles.
In the mid 1900's, he begins experimenting with modest-looking wood, brick and stucco homes that seem inspired by Syracuse furniture maker Gustav Stickley. Though he didn't exclusively practice in the Craftsman style, his homes in this idiom are unique and refined and no less remarkable than those he designed twenty years earlier.
four known homes in Chicago's North Shore suburb of Highland Park. Once a summer retreat, the small community was booming with a new train line and cultural amenities that made it an attractive commuter suburb. This home is one of them and was built for banker Edward Erickson and his wife, Clara.
homes for family members in the Sedgwick suburb. Perhaps it was son Ralph, a recent graduate of Princeton, who helped keep the office up to date stylistically. It is also enticing to imagine that the elder Silsbee would have encountered Stickley or his Craftsman Workshops first-hand while visiting his former home town.