Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Robert G. Emmond House; 1892
The Robert G. Emmond house is known to be one of the “bootleg” houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright during his employment with Louis Sullivan of the Sullivan and Adler architecture firm in Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1892, the home is considered by many to be one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s transitional pieces, because it showcases a slow transition from the original style of the era (Queen Anne, Victorian) to his later, fully developed modern Prairie style. It is a wonderful piece of architecture that highlights his growth and change as he searched for his own unique style of architectural design.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Robert G. Emmond House in La Grange, Illinois
Located in La Grange, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, the Emmond home is an independent design by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed a handful of these “bootleg” homes in an attempt to earn additional money to support his still-growing family with his first wife, Catherine Tobin.
The home is similar in appearance to the Robert P. Parker home (located in Oak Park, Illinois.) Both homes feature what was known as the T-plan design, with Wright’s various additions of geometric and rectilinear patterns throughout the homes, including the octagonal bays. Though the geometric patterns and slight hints toward Wright’s changing style are evident in the designs, the home is still considered to be of the Queen Anne or Victorian style of architecture.
The Robert G. Emmond House Today
As of August 2010, the Robert G. Emmond home is a private residence. While the address is easily located on the internet, it is recommended that any visitors respect the current owners’ privacy.
According to the Landmarks Illinois organization, the current owners (as of August 2016) spent six years restoring the home to it’s original 1895 state. This restoration included a historic paint analysis of the interior walls and replication of any interior woodwork that was missing throughout the home. It also included fabricating period hardware pieces that were correct for the era as well as installing carbon filament light fixtures.
For the exterior of the home, the current owners stripped the house down to it’s original finish. However, the porch was redesigned, though still designed in the standard style of the era.
That being said, while the Emmond home is not among Wright’s more famous homes (such as the Robie house or Fallingwater,) it is still an amazing piece of American architectural history.