Glessner and Robie Houses
Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.
The Glessner house
was completed in 1887, one year after the architect H.H. Richardson
died, at the sadly young age of 48. It's certainly imposing, even forbidding,
from the outside, but almost post-modern in its strong classically-derived
details. The famous "Richardsonian Romanesque" semi-circular arch is
here transmuted in a variety of ways to add variety and focal points
to the otherwise very rectangular overall effect.
The interior is much warmer, informed by the Glessners' appreciation
of the English Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements. The house was
the family's winter home, so there is no landscaping to speak of outside
or in the interior courtyard.
|The front entrance.
||The charming servants' entrance on the side facade.
||High on the side facade, with Richardson's logo and the
||The attached stable block, with the decorative dovecote on high.
The Robie house
was completed in 1910. Wright himself, in his usual modest way, called
it "the cornerstone of modern architecture" (in 1957, when the house was
threatened with destruction, and he was 90). Wright was always a great
proponent of fitting a house into its site, and this house is the examplar
of the Prairie Style, long and low to match the flat landscape. It marks
the first residential use of steel beams, enabling the fabulous overhangs
that would come into their full glory in his 1935
|The house from the front corner.
||A closer view of the "prow" which marks one end of the living
||A detail of the prow, showing more detail of the art-glass windows.
||A view of roofs, windows, and bricks, the major elements of
|Wright's entrances are sometimes not easy to find, and this
one is a good example, approached from the back of the house, for
privacy, and to leave the South or sunny side clear.
||A band of some of the fabulous art-glass windows, 174 in
all, which adorn the house. Setting the windows in horizontal bands
is a classic Wright/Prairie touch.
||A closeup of a window, showing nicely the iridescence, which
is only visible from the outside.
These pictures were taken with a Canon G2 digital camera. Images were
cropped, balanced, etc. with Adobe Photoshop Elements.