FEATURE image: Detail of 804 Forest Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois. The Prairie style house was built in 1906 by architect George Washington Maher (1864-1926) whose influence on the Midwest was profound and prolonged and, in its time, as great as Frank Lloyd Wright’s. Author’s photograph. 6/2014 3.95mb
5 – 1231 Forest Avenue, 1898. A two-story clapboard with a flared hipped roof with three dormers, one each in the front and on the sides. The façade-length porch also has a hipped roof. The first floor has a projecting polygonal bay window and a front door and separate square vestibule window. 6/2014 4.76mb
6 – 1215 Forest Avenue, c. 1909. The two-story home is built of finely dressed (cut, worked) ashlar stone. The home has a hipped roof and steep pitched pediment with a broken cornice and a false balcony with rounded attic window. In a rigidly centralized composition, there is a slight projecting bay above the entrance that is sheltered by a large porch with a massive projecting pediment held by a masonry pier with short bulging columns. 6/2014 5.67mb
11 – 1041 Forest Avenue, 1873. Masked by later additions, this house was originally Italianate whose hooded windows and small square attic window remain on the façade. 6/2014 4.20mb
12- 1020 Forest Avenue, Community Church of Wilmette, 1920, has massing of large rubble ashlar walls with broad arches and a porch. 6/2014 3.57mb
12- 1020 Forest Avenue, Community Church of Wilmette, 1920, was a pioneer for a large building tucked unobtrusively onto a residential street that in terms of stance was replicated by other churches that were built later in the suburb. 6/2014 6.05mb
13 – 932 Forest Avenue, 1890s. A grand two-story Classical Revival house with a high hipped roof and ionic pilasters at the corners as well as sides and pediment of the projecting entrance. Ionic columns also support the porch. 6/2014 4.86mb
14 – 922 Forest Avenue pre-1873 and c. 1900. The house was originally built in the Italianate style evident in the cornice with double brackets in the front and single brackets on the side of the house along with pedimented windows. The third-floor gables were added around 1900 as well as the broad bow façade. These changes worked to add space and mask the original style. The front porch is even more recent. 6/2014 5.61mb
George Washington Maher (1864-1926), born in West Virginia, was an American architect in the Prairie School style who was known for blending with the Arts& Crafts style. According to H. Allen Brooks in The Prairie School – Frank Lloyd Wright and his Midwest Contemporaries (1972) “[Maher’s] influence on the Midwest was profound and prolonged and, in its time, was certainly as great as was [Frank Lloyd] Wright’s. Compared with the conventional architecture of the day, his work showed considerable freedom and originality, and his interiors were notable for their open and flowing…space.” By the time of his death, G.W. Maher had designed over 270 projects; from houses to parks to public buildings. Public Domain.
15 – 804 Forest Avenue, 1906. The Prairie style house was built in 1906. The architect was George Washington Maher (1864-1926). 6/2014 3.95mb
15 – 804 Forest Avenue, 1906, by G.W. Maher is a solid 4-square house that is modest compared to a similar-styled project the Prairie-school architect completed in 1899 in Oak Park, IL , known as Pleasant Home. 6/2014 4.85mb Sources:
A Guide to Chicago’s Historic Suburbs on Wheels and on Foot, Ira J. Bach, Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 1981, pp. 534-547.
The Prairie School – Frank Lloyd Wright and his Midwest Contemporaries. Brooks, H. Allen New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1972, p. 330.
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