People that criticize urban sprawl also denigrate the “Mini- or Mc-Mansion” and increasing footprint of new homes. There is nothing new under the sun, however, so today we look at 2 grand homes on multiple lots- one in Bucktown and one in Wicker Park built a century earlier.
This Wicker Park home was built grand on a wider-than-standard (25’ x 125’in most neighborhoods) lot. Certainly intended to impress, the building features a turret and multiple roof lines.
The piano nobile (first floor) is up off the ground, the balcony implies public address, the stone façade is highly textured and detailed- it’s actually Queen Anne style in stone. The proportions are vertical, typical of buildings before 1919. There are 3 vertical elements adding grandeur and depth- the turret, the center section, and the entry section. The rooflines point to the sky as do the columns and balustrades. The windows are tall, allowing maximum light and ventilation (air conditioning was not available residentially) and adding to the verticality of the overall composition.
This Bucktown contemporary uses two lots with the building oriented to the long side of the plot, furtheraccentuating its size.
This house looks very different from its predecessor until we realize it also presents itself as a collection of 3 vertical elements -here treated as abstract planes with differing materials. Like the Wicker Park home, the first floor is raised. However, this design makes the eye moves horizontally, typical of the modern age. Featuring a richness of textures and materials, the abstract planes play across the elevation, and the entry and stair are obscured, typical in contemporary design. The windows are in a hierarchy visible from right to left. The largest and most imposing windows are on the right, framed with limestone wrapping around the corner; tertiary windows are simple squares in the center section; and to the left are secondary windows, large but NOT framed in limestone.
So- horizontal Bucktown or vertical Wicker Park- how do YOU like your big house?