Photo: Emery House

Designed for William T. Emery, Jr.

President, Chicago Rawhide Company

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his is the first independent house design of Walter Burley Griffin. Griffin received the commission as freelance work while he was employed in Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park studio. The house contains many elements that Griffin uses repeatedly in his work, such as the large corner piers that seem to hold the weight of the house. Wright was known for his simple use of building materials, but in this house Griffin decided to combine several materials. He chose concrete, brick and stained boards for the exterior.

nside, Griffin differs greatly from Wright by breaking up the space vertically. After entering the house under the low ceiling of the foyer, you are surprised by the sudden change to a two-story living room. This grand space includes a circular fireplace and leaded glass bookshelves. It is then a half story down to the living room, which includes recessed lighting and French doors to take you outside. The second story contains a den with a balcony overlooking the living room.

or the walls, Griffin designed a brass and colored glass wall sconce. The same sconce is found in many Wright homes including his design for Susan Dana in Springfield Illinois. It is unclear whether Griffin originally designed the sconce for a Wright's use or for the Emery house.

he Emery house is currently under going restoration, and is a private residence.


W.H.Emery House-1903 | Ralph Griffin House-1909 | Adolph Mueller House-1906 | Stinson Memorial Library-1913 | Joshua Melson House-1912

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