Monday, November 21, 2011

Cottages on 21st Street and Kildare

Back to K-Town!  Here are some additional brick and stone 1-story houses with distinctly Craftsman detailing. The K-Town National Register Nomination identifies these as the design of architect J. Klucina and built by F. Karel.
From left to right are 4254, 4250 and 4248 W. 21st Street.  The Assessor claims that all three were built in 1917, and have 852 sq.ft.  I'm guessing (hoping) this doesn't include the basement.  These lots are 33' wide, which is slightly wider than the standard 25' lot.  They're only 75' deep because of the elevated tracks (Pink Line) directly behind them, which basically cuts them in half. Given the area limitations these cottages do pretty well utilizing the space available. But I was surprised not to see any roof decks.  That would seem like an easy way to add some outdoor space.

I think it's fascinating how the designs vary on blocks that contain speculative housing.  These are often built as a part of a larger project, and the buildings tend to share basic characteristics such as height, width, and square footage.  But how many shades of brick were used?  How often do the designs repeat themselves?  How many varieties can there be of a crenellated facade?  It's the architectural version of variations on a theme.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1-Story Cottages at Foster and Claremont

It's good to know this type of 1-story cottage isn't limited entirely to the south side.  Below are three brick homes on Foster, east of Western.  Special thanks to a blog comment that pointed these out.  I can't find these all by myself, and I know there must be alot of them out in the neighborhoods.  

These are a bit older than the ones in K-Town, built in 1896.  The two on the left are listed at 748 sq.ft., while the one to the right is listed at 1,346 sq.ft., which may mean that the basement is a separate legal living unit.  All of them appear to have below grade access to the basement from the front of the house.  Which would be great if you have a teenager you'd rather not see frequently.
2317, 2319, and 2321 W. Foster

All three would have had the decorative triangular pediments with dentils, although the one to the right just has a remnant.  

Interestingly, if the pediment actually defined the shape of the roof these would look alot like bungalows.  I've been reading Joseph Bigott's book, "From Cottage to Bungalow," which illustrates the transition between the two forms. When Bigott looks at cottages he's generally referring to wood-frame structures with a gable roof that originally evolved as a form of rural housing.  I probably use the word "cottage" more indiscriminately. But what if these homes represent another transitional form in Chicago?  Worth investigating.