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The Chicago Traveler

Robert P. Parker House

by Matt B on January 14th, 2008

robert p parker houseAlthough you might not know it by looking at it, the Robert P. Parker House was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It may lack the overall style that he is often associated with, but that’s because this is one of his “bootleg homes,” buildings he designed independently while still employed by Adler and Sullivan.

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the world’s most prominent and influential architects, influencing the design of buildings all over the world. In 1890, he was assigned all residential design work for the firm of Adler & Sullivan. However, three years later, Louis Sullivan discovered that Wright had been accepting private commissions, which Sullivan strictly forbade. In all, Wright had designed nine houses “on the side,” four of which are still standing. The moonlighting architect was dismissed from the firm.

dormer window

The Robert P. Parker House is one of the four remaining “bootleg houses” and was completed and sold to attorney Robert Parker in 1892. It features an irregular roof composition with high pitches and polygonal dormers. (A dormer, which usually includes a window, protrudes from the sloping plane of a roof surface. See example at right.) Wright’s influence can be seen in the art glass windows and in the way the front stairs “spill” out onto the lawn. And while the Parker House may appear small, the interior is very spacious.

While small and perhaps not as famous as Wright’s other conceptions, this early work of the famous architect is quite significant, as it reveals the man’s design development.

robert p parker houserobert p parker house

Photo credit: f0rbe5, foolfillment, SPH, Oak Park Cycle Club

Robert P. Parker House: 1019 Chicago Ave (Oak Park)
Public trans: Bus # 90 or Pace Bus # 307, 311, 318

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POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions

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