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From the octagonal ends of the shed dormer, to the corner windows (with miniature columns) on the first floor. It has that same ordered quirkiness that the "bootleg" houses and those done in the first couple of years post-Adler&Sullivan have. Does the shingled bit at the rear appear to you to be an addition to the gambrel main portion? Might the ganged 4 window possibly opening in that back portion be a later intervention? It has some qualities of the Bagley and MacArthur houses...or even Mitchell if Cecil Corwin may have been collaborating.
Is there any chance of making contact with the owner to look for familiar detailing or plan cues at the interior, or finding out the year the house was built? It would be very enticing if it was found to be built in 1890-1894.
https://www.wilmette.com/permits/commun ... landmarks/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagoge ... otostream/
The Flickr entry indicates Walter was an architect and designed the house for himself.
A pic of W. Mead Walter:
https://archives.library.illinois.edu/a ... nt&id=7700
Walter was noted as being an architect:
https://books.google.com/books?id=bGtzA ... 22&f=false
Walter was listed as architect of a hotel at 127 N. Dearborn
https://books.google.com/books?id=HzJYA ... te&f=false
One wonders if Walter and Wright may have been acquainted?
The FLW similarity I see in the octagon elements is the George Furbeck House. Have we stumbled upon another source of inspiration for FLW?
say we have to look to the East Coast for some of Walter's inspirations in this house -- and because it predates Wright's bootleg houses, and the Warren
McArthur, Frederick Bagley and Chauncey Williams residences (for instance), it would be clear which way the influence ran. But Wright wasn't ignorant of the
Shingle Style (not then known as such), as his own house and the earlier Unity Chapel, Hillside Home School I, and the Ocean Springs work for Sullivan and
Charnley make clear ?
The twin towers of Furbeck -- and the twin cross-gables of Moore ? -- are especially noteworthy, perhaps, in connection with Mr Walter's opus. The gambrel
roof of the Bagley house might descend directly from it, as well . . .
Were the house located in the Sea Cliff area of San Francisco instead of Wilmette ... it wouldn't be difficult to imagine those third floor corner windows to have been part of the private domain of one Paul Barbour.
While the Palladian window in McArthur may lead back, that FLW toyed with gambrel doesn't necessarily. FLW's work throughout his career was based solidly on geometry. He was, in fact, a geometer. I don't see that going back to a 17th century form which was popular in the 1880-90 era would connect him to any contemporary architect. Also, the street faÃƒÂ§ade of Wilmette shows a heavy load on that roof. It's necessary to turn the corner to realize it's gambrel at all. FLW's Bagley, McArthur Houses don't obstruct the clarity of the gambrel.
We'd have to say that the street facade is a barely restrained hodge-podge of historic and other forms -- no ? The roof "skirt" (a putative but structurally
disconnected extension of the main roof's lower plane) has sagged; the long balcony railing above it has not.
The change in material of the upper-story cladding, beyond the broad gable end, can be read as an extension of the original construction -- or not; in either
event the effect is picturesque. The rear corner tower is the most exciting part of the affair, at first glance -- perhaps because the first photograph showing it
distorts the roof a bit, making it appear broader than the similar ones capping the front tower bays.
Perhaps the miracle here is the apparently nearly untouched condition of the structure, its surfaces and even colorings seeming to have survived intact ?