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Wright Studies
Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Illinois (1896 - S.038)
 
  1964 HAROLD ALLEN    1965 RICHARD NICKEL 
 
Drawings By  J Rex Poggenpohl, 1964
Exterior
Photographs By Harold Allen, June 15, 1964
The Isidore Heller House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a narrow city lot in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. It belongs to a stylistic category of Wright’s work that has been termed 'Monitor' referring to the third story which is raised above the main eaves and capped by a smaller hip roof. The arcade and frieze of this story contains elaborate Sullivanesque ornament and sculptural figures, the latter executed by Richard Bock.
       The Living, Dining, and Reception Rooms as well as the Kitchen are on the first floor. Five bedrooms are on the second floor. Playroom is on the third floor. The large brick tower houses an elevator that services the basement and all three floors. The elevator tower and back entrance were not part of the original drawings published in 1900, and both may have been added when Wright added the elevator in 1909. The The Roman brick on the first floor is buff, the second and third floors, above the
  horizontal stone trim alternates buff and gray bricks. The Living Room windows are bordered with horizontal stone. The square panels below the Living Room windows match the billet molding framing the main entrance.
       The North (back) entrance sets on a thick limestone foundation, very similar to the foundation of the Husser Residence (1899). The art glass windows, different than those of the stairway, repeats the design element in the upper Sullivanesque panels, seen between the winged maidens.
       The large limestone columns on either side of the entrance are octagonal in shape, with ornamental Sullivanesque capitals. The columns support three square frieze panels, each with a quatrefoil design. The light fixture has been replaced with one more consistent with the design of the home. The entrance is framed with a billet molding.
 

HABS 1: Isidore Heller Residence, HABS Measured Drawings, First and Second Floor Plan, 1964 (1896 - S.038). "The Isidore Heller House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a narrow city lot in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. It belongs to a stylistic category of Wright’s work that has been termed ‘Monitor’ referring to the third story which is raised above the main eaves and capped by a smaller hip roof. The arcade and frieze of this story contains elaborate Sullivanesque ornament and sculptural figures, the latter executed by Richard Bock... Recorded by the National Park Service... Measured and drawn during the summer of 1964 under the direction of James C. Massey. Drawn by: J Rex Poggenpohl." Historic American Building Survey, Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 
 
HABS 2: Isidore Heller Residence, HABS Measured Drawings, South and East Elevations, 1964 (1896 - S.038). "The Isidore Heller House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a narrow city lot in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. It belongs to a stylistic category of Wright’s work that has been termed ‘Monitor’ referring to the third story which is raised above the main eaves and capped by a smaller hip roof. The arcade and frieze of this story contains elaborate Sullivanesque ornament and sculptural figures, the latter executed by Richard Bock... Recorded by the National Park Service... Measured and drawn during the summer of 1964 under the direction of James C. Massey. Drawn by: J Rex Poggenpohl." Historic American Building Survey, Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
HABS 2A: East Elevations (upper) and South Elevation (lower).
 
HABS 2B: Comparison of the Dining Room, South Elevation (left) and Living Room. East Elevations (right), Wright repeats the design on the exterior of the Dining and Living Rooms.
 
HABS 3: Isidore Heller Residence, HABS Measured Drawings, Detail of Staircase Window, 1964 (1896 - S.038). "The Isidore Heller House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a narrow city lot in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. It belongs to a stylistic category of Wright’s work that has been termed ‘Monitor’ referring to the third story which is raised above the main eaves and capped by a smaller hip roof. The arcade and frieze of this story contains elaborate Sullivanesque ornament and sculptural figures, the latter executed by Richard Bock... Recorded by the National Park Service... Measured and drawn during the summer of 1964 under the direction of James C. Massey. Drawn by: J Rex Poggenpohl." Historic American Building Survey, Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
 
1: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Street view,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. Ivy has begun to grow again. A wooden fence has been added to the right side. The Living Room is on the first floor, the side entrance on the North side can be seen on the far right. Five bedrooms are on the second floor. The east bedroom windows open to a ledge. The windows just to the right of the chimney is one of two bathrooms on the second floor. The large brick tower just behind the side entrance, houses an elevator that services the basement and all three floors. The elevator tower and back entrance were not part of the original drawings published in 1900, and both may have been added when Wright added the elevator in 1909. The Playroom is on the third floor. The Roman brick on the first floor is buff, the second and third floors, above the horizontal stone trim alternates buff and gray bricks. The Living Room windows are bordered with horizontal stone. The square panels below the Living Room windows match the billet molding framing the main entrance. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 

1A: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Living Room window detail,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. Ivy has begun to grow again. The Living Room is on the first floor. The Roman brick on the first floor is buff. The Living Room windows are bordered with horizontal stone. The square panels below the Living Room windows match the billet molding framing the main entrance. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
1B: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Detail of the third floor,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. Three arches are set between plaster Sullivanesque panels with high relief winged maidens. Pairs of colonettes are topped with large, spreading ornamental Sullivanesque plaster capitals. Both the plaster maidens and capitals show deterioration. The Roman brick on the second and third floors alternates buff and gray bricks. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
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1C: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Detail of the third floor capitals,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. Pairs of colonettes are topped with large, spreading ornamental Sullivanesque plaster capitals. Plaster capitals show deterioration. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 

2: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, North side,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. Remnants of ivy can be seen at the top left. The art glass windows follow the stairs that lead to the second floor. The window sills are limestone, as is the horizontal trim that runs the length of the home. The North (back) entrance sets on a thick limestone foundation, very similar to the foundation of the Husser Residence (1899). The art glass windows, different than those of the stairway, repeats the design element in the upper Sullivanesque panels, seen between the winged maidens. The large brick tower just behind the side entrance, houses an elevator that services the basement and all three floors. The elevator tower and back entrance were not part of the original drawings published in 1909, and both may have been added when Wright added the elevator in 1909. The Pantry and Kitchen are just beyond the that. Five bedrooms are on the second floor. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

2A: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Detail of the North side windows,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. The art glass windows follow the stairs that lead to the second floor. The window sills are limestone, as is the horizontal trim that runs the length of the home. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

2B: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Detail of the North side back entrance,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. The North (back) entrance sets on a thick limestone foundation, very similar to the foundation of the Husser Residence (1899). The elevator tower and back entrance were not part of the original drawings published in 1900, and both may have been added when Wright added the elevator in 1909. The art glass windows, different than those of the stairway, repeats the design element in the upper Sullivanesque panels, seen between the winged maidens. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

2C: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, Detail of the North side back entrance art glass ,1964 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Northeast. The art glass windows, different than those of the stairway, repeats the design element in the upper Sullivanesque panels, seen between the winged maidens. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

3: Isidore Heller Residence Entrance, Chicago, 1964 (1896 - S.038). View from the Southeast. The large limestone columns on either side of the entrance are octagonal in shape, with ornamental Sullivanesque capitals. The columns support three square frieze panels, each with a quatrefoil design. The light fixture has been replaced with one more consistent with the design of the home. The entrance is framed with a billet molding. The Dining Room is seen on the far left. The Lining Room is to the right of the Entrance. Five bedrooms are on the second floor. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

3A: Isidore Heller Residence Entrance detail, Chicago, 1964 (1896 - S.038). View from the Southeast. The large limestone columns on either side of the entrance are octagonal in shape, with ornamental Sullivanesque capitals. The columns support three square frieze panels, each with a quatrefoil design. The light fixture has been replaced with one more consistent with the design of the home. The entrance is framed with a billet molding. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 

3B: Isidore Heller Residence Entrance detail, Chicago, 1964 (1896 - S.038). View from the Southeast. The large limestone columns on either side of the entrance are octagonal in shape, with ornamental Sullivanesque capitals. The columns support three square frieze panels, each with a quatrefoil design. The light fixture has been replaced with one more consistent with the design of the home. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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3C: Isidore Heller Residence Entrance detail, Chicago, 1964 (1896 - S.038). View from the Southeast. The large limestone columns are octagonal in shape, with ornamental Sullivanesque capitals. Photographed by Harold Allen on June 15, 1964. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

 
 
 

Exterior and Interior Photographs By Richard Nickel, 1965

Under copper gutters are decorative plaster soffits. Plaster panels include high relief winged maidens, set within a low relief Sullivanesque design. Relief is showing extreme deterioration. Corners are trimmed with a large based octagonal column.
       The front door leads into the entry vestibule. It originally opened up into the reception hall, which has been blocked by a built-in bookcase. A set of doors open inward and lead to the main hall. Oak woodwork frames the ceiling and wall spaces. Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. A stairway in the reception hall leads to the second level. A  large square newel post is decorated at the top with a Sullivanesque filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway. Opposite the stairway is the reception room. Octagonal oak columns set atop square oak pedestals, both decorated at the top with matching Sullivanesque filigree trim.
       One of Wright’s hallmark’s was to vary ceiling heights. Raising it in some areas, lowering it in other areas in the same room. Creating a room within a room. This creates the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. Wright described the living room in the June 1900 issue of Architectural Review, "Interior walls
   of rough sand finish. Trimmed in quartered and waxed white oak. Plaster saturated with pure color. Floor finish and furniture of one wood and color throughout. Lighting fixtures in main rooms wooden standards with globes worked in brass and opalescent glass. Interior color scheme bronze and dull green." The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. Built-in bookcases balance each side of the fireplace area. The fireplace and bookcase ends are faced with delicate filigree panels. The Living Room’s brass light standards were removed, but outlines of the standard’s bases remain on the floor in the living room.
       Oak woodwork frames the stairway, ceiling and wall spaces. Although the newel post on the first floor was square, this newel post on the landing between the first and second floors is octagonal in shape and matches the upper column in the reception room, and is decorated at the top with the Sullivanesque filigree trim. Three upper posts are square and without the filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway from the reception hall. Eleven art glass windows follow the stairs that lead to the second floor.
 
4: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, view of third floor frieze, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Detail of the plaster frieze of the Southeast corner of the third floor. Viewed from the South. Under the copper gutters are decorative plaster soffits. Plaster panels include high relief winged maidens, set within a low relief Sullivanesque design. Relief is showing extreme deterioration. Corners are trimmed with a large based octagonal column. The Roman brick on the second and third floors alternates buff and gray bricks. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
4A: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, detail of third floor frieze, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Detail of the plaster frieze of the Southeast corner of the third floor. Viewed from the South. Plaster panels include high relief winged maidens, set within a low relief Sullivanesque design. The design element between the maidens is similar to the art glass in the back entrance to the home, and elements in the title page for "The Eve of St. Agnes", designed by Wright and published in 1896, and "House Beautiful", designed by Wright and published in 1897. Relief is showing extreme deterioration. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
4B: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, detail of third floor frieze, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Detail of the plaster frieze of the Southeast corner of the third floor. Viewed from the South. Plaster panels include high relief winged maidens, set within a low relief Sullivanesque design. The design element between the maidens is similar to the art glass in the back entrance to the home, and elements in the title page for "The Eve of St. Agnes", designed by Wright and published in 1896, and "House Beautiful", designed by Wright and published in 1897. Relief is showing extreme deterioration. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
4C: Isidore Heller Residence, Chicago, detail of third floor frieze, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Detail of the plaster frieze of the Southeast corner of the third floor. Viewed from the South. Relief is showing extreme deterioration. Corners are trimmed with a large based octagonal column. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the West, looking toward the Living Room. The front door leads into the entry vestibule. It originally opened up into the reception hall, which has been blocked by a built-in bookcase. A set of doors open inward and lead to the main hall. Oak woodwork frames the ceiling and wall spaces. Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. The stairway on the left leads to the second level. The large square newel post is decorated at the top with a Sullivanesque filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway. Opposite the stairway is the reception room. Octagonal oak columns set atop square oak pedestals, both decorated at the top with matching Sullivanesque filigree trim. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5A: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Details of vestibule doors, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The front door leads into the entry vestibule. A set of doors open inward and lead to the main hall. Oak woodwork frames the ceiling and wall spaces. Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5B: Heller Residence Hall, Detail of stairway, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Oak woodwork frames the ceiling and wall spaces. Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. The stairway leads to the second level. The large square newel post is decorated at the top with a Sullivanesque filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5C: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Detail of Reception Room entrance, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The front door leads into the entry vestibule. It originally opened up into the reception hall, which has been blocked by a built-in bookcase. A set of doors open inward and lead to the main hall. Oak woodwork frames the ceiling and wall spaces. Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. Octagonal oak columns set atop square oak pedestals, both decorated at the top with matching Sullivanesque filigree trim. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5D: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Detail of Reception Room entrance, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The entry vestibule originally opened up into the reception hall, which has been blocked by a built-in bookcase. Octagonal oak columns set atop square oak pedestals, both decorated at the top with matching Sullivanesque filigree trim. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
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5E: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Detail of Reception Room column, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Octagonal oak columns set atop square oak pedestals, both decorated at the top with matching Sullivanesque filigree trim. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
5F: Isidore Heller Residence Hall, Baseboard detail, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Walls are trimmed with large oak baseboards. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
6: Isidore Heller Residence Living Room, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the Southwest. One of Wright’s hallmark’s was to vary ceiling heights. Raising it in some areas, lowering it in other areas in the same room. Creating a room within a room. This creates the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. Wright described the room in the June 1900 issue of Architectural Review, "Interior walls of rough sand finish. Trimmed in quartered and waxed white oak. Plaster saturated with pure color. Floor finish and furniture of one wood and color throughout. Lighting fixtures in main rooms wooden standards with globes worked in brass and opalescent glass. Interior color scheme bronze and dull green." The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. Built-in bookcases balance each side of the fireplace area. The fireplace and bookcase ends are faced with delicate filigree panels. The Living Room’s brass light standards were removed, but outlines of the standard’s bases remain on the floor in the living room. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
6A: Isidore Heller Residence Living Room, Detail of fireplace trim, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Wright described the room in the June 1900 issue of Architectural Review, "Interior walls of rough sand finish. Trimmed in quartered and waxed white oak. Plaster saturated with pure color. Floor finish and furniture of one wood and color throughout. Lighting fixtures in main rooms wooden standards with globes worked in brass and opalescent glass. Interior color scheme bronze and dull green." The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
6B: Isidore Heller Residence Living Room, Detail of the filigree panels, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. Built-in bookcases balance each side of the fireplace area. The fireplace and bookcase ends are faced with delicate filigree panels. The filigree panel on the left is on the side of the bookcase, the filigree panel on the right is built into the fireplace trim. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
6C: Isidore Heller Residence Living Room, Fireplace detail. Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. The fireplace ends are faced with delicate filigree panels on the inside and front. At the base of the front panel is a short built-in octagonal column, repeating the shape of the column outside the entrance of the home. It is topped with a pointed octagonal capital. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
6D: Isidore Heller Residence Living Room, Bookcase detail, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). The living room brick fireplace is framed in oak. Built-in bookcases balance each side of the fireplace area. The bookcase ends are faced with delicate filigree panels. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
7: Isidore Heller Residence Stairway, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Viewed from the East, looking toward the Second level. Oak woodwork frames the stairway, ceiling and wall spaces. Although the newel post on the first floor was square, this newel post on the landing between the first and second floors is octagonal in shape and matches the upper column in the reception room, and is decorated at the top with the Sullivanesque filigree trim. Three upper posts are square and without the filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway from the reception hall. Eleven art glass windows follow the stairs that lead to the second floor. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
7A: Isidore Heller Residence Stairway detail, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Oak woodwork frames the stairway. Although the newel post on the first floor was square, this newel post on the landing between the first and second floors is octagonal in shape and matches the upper column in the reception room, and is decorated at the top with the Sullivanesque filigree trim. Three upper posts are square and without the filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway from the reception hall. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
7B: Isidore Heller Residence Stairway detail, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Oak woodwork frames the stairway. Although the newel post on the first floor was square, this newel post on the landing between the first and second floors is octagonal in shape and matches the upper column in the reception room, and is decorated at the top with the Sullivanesque filigree trim. Upper posts are square and without the filigree trim. Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway from the reception hall. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965.
 
7C: Isidore Heller Residence Stairway detail, Chicago, 1965 (1896 - S.038). Tightly packed spindles form screens, partially hiding the stairway from the reception hall. Photographed by Richard Nickel in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
 
 
Text by Douglas M. Steiner, Copyright 2014
 
 
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