Usonian style house in Oswego Il

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millewk
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:06 pm

Usonian style house in Oswego Il

Post by millewk »

Thought I would post some pictures of my parents home which is located in Oswego Il. It is a Usonian in-line style which was built in 1951 by my Dad and grandfather. The architect was Donald A Tosi.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 00e938ba14

SDR
Posts: 20293
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

What a treat ! Thanks. The newspaper description is well written and informative, isn't it. The ceiling material "made of excelsior and Portland cement" is likely Tectum, seen in certain post-war modern work ? The variegated brick is really handsome -- and unusual.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/naperv ... =134161538

SDR

millewk
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:06 pm

Post by millewk »

Thanks for the comment. It was a neat home to grow up in. I can remember people driving buy and some even stopping to take pictures. Originally, the floors were polished concrete and then stained and the 65 year old radiant system is only on it's second boiler. Just another note regarding Mr. Tosi. My dad told me that he paid $500 for Mr. Tosi to design the home. In the early 50's someone mentioned to my dad that the same house was being built in Aurora. Needless to say he wasn't pleased. I believed Mr. Tosi and my dad eventually worked things out. My dad always referred to the ceiling material as cemex. My sister bought the house and when she sold it we had to have the material checked for asbestos. The report said it was cement and wood fibers. In addition to the vertical cypress walls other wall material was embossed plywood.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Sounds like Mr Tosi -- and your dad ? -- took advantage of the opportunity to use some of the new materials for the house; that's a sure sign and symptom of the enthusiasm associated with post-war modernism. It's good to hear that the in-slab heating worked well during the many years that your family was there.

Frank Lloyd Wright's first Usonian client, Herbert Jacobs, paid the architect a $500 fee, for a $5000 house. I wonder what you house cost to build.

I looked for pictures of other buildings by architect Tosi -- a new name for us here, I expect. There's not much there, online. If you have other family photos of the house, I'd love to see them. Thanks for bringing this to us !

SDR

Sequoia
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Post by Sequoia »

Don Tosi was a builder of good reputation from Naperville il. He did spend time at Taliesen as a builder, not as architect, and built many homes in the area. His most notable build was the Ford house in Aurora il designed by Bruce Goff. His signature on his homes was an orange front door, many of them were removed. I know someone that lives in one of his homes built in Naperville and she loves the home and knew Don and thought well of him.

millewk
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:06 pm

Post by millewk »

You are correct. Ruth Vansickle Ford was an artist of note and was director of the Chicago Institute of Art. She commissioned the house you are referring to which is also known as the Round House; Coal house or the flying saucer. It is located not far from the WB Greene home in Aurora, Il. It has been periodically open for tours on occasion.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Ford is one of Goff's best houses, but I would call it the Dairy Queen.

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Ford is one of Goff's best houses, but I would call it the Dairy Queen.
Point taken...
https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/ONgxcU ... ne.0.0.png

dancedark
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:20 pm
Location: Carbondale, IL
Contact:

Post by dancedark »

Milewk, could you repost your photo? The link does not seem to work.

Paul Ringstrom
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

https://mcarch.wordpress.com/2010/12/16 ... nois-1948/

My uncle, who lived in Aurora, took lessons in watercolor painting from Ms. Ford.

This house is currently owned by Sidney K. Robinson, who teaches at the FLW School of Architecture: http://www.taliesin.edu/faculty/robinson/srobinson.html
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

millewk
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:06 pm

Post by millewk »

@dancedark....sorry about that. For some reason I took it off public view. You should be able to see it now.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10615
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I like the rough brickwork in this house. And the period image with the '54 Ford in the driveway is interesting. It's almost an abstraction of a FLW Usonian, like the brick walls are free-standing with a glass pavilion lurking behind, peering out. Excellent original expression of the Usonian, without being an attempt to imitate.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4419
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Roderick,

That "brick" is actually coal interspersed with glass cullets.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Roderick is speaking of the Tosi-designed house, Paul of the Ford house.

SDR

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