|Posted by George Pudlo on December 17, 2010 at 2:09 AM|
Hills-DeCaro House, 1906/1977
313 Forest Avenue, Oak Park IL
The Hills-DeCaro House sits on the lot adjacent to the Nathan Grier Moore House, with a large gap in between the two. Nathan Moore purchased the two lots next to his Frank Lloyd Wright designed Tudor Revival home, and had Frank Lloyd Wright remodel what was then a Stick Style House on the adjoining lot as a wedding gift to his daughter and son-in-law the Hills'. Frank Lloyd Wright completely remodeled the home, rendering the original house unrecognizable. He made it more Prairie Style with its over hanging eaves, and beautiful art glass windows, but one can also see the Japanese influence of Frank Lloyd Wright with its pagoda style roofs.
When the Hills' moved into their new home, they enjoyed the outside, but were dissatisfied with the interior, Prairie layout. They hired an outside architect to undo the Prairie Style updates -clearly to the dismay of Frank Lloyd Wright. In the 1970's, there was a terrible fire that destroyed most of the interior of the home. The DeCaro family, then living in the home discovered that one of the only pieces to survive the fire was a built in Frank Lloyd Wright cabinet that contained the blueprints for both the inside and outside of the home. They then hired an architect to completely restore the home back to its original Frank Lloyd Wright condition.
An interesting feature of this home is the white kiosk in the side yard- it was originally a ticket booth from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Ironically, it was at the World's Fair of 1893 that Frank Lloyd Wright was first exposed to Japanese Architecture in the Ho-o-den of the wooded island.