Four Houses for Robert Roloson
Address: 3213 - 3219 Calumet Ave., Chicago, Illinois
City: Chicago, IL
Restoration Status: interior gutted by fire in 1981
Robert Roloson commissioned Wright to remodel a group of four preexisting row houses in 1894. Concerned with ventilation, Wright devised a plan that incorporated a succession of courts and wells in order to allow light and air into the buildings’ interior rooms. A series of four high-pitched gables dominates the front facade of the row houses. Wright proposed eliminating these design elements, but the client rejected the idea. Their strict geometry is echoed in the rigid sequence of Sullivanesque spandrels and thickly mullioned windows below. The interiors of the houses, which were gutted after a fire and general deterioration in 1981, also featured Sullivanesque ornament, as did the bulbous balustrades that once encircled the terraces at the front of the houses. Similar balustrades remain intact at Wright’s Nathan G. Moore residence in Oak Park.