Robert and Suzanne Drucker House

  Photo by Susan Benjamin

Photo by Susan Benjamin

2801 Iroquois Road, Wilmette, Illinois
Harry Weese, 1952-53, with a 1963 addition

This L-shaped two-story residence clad in cedar planks suggests a Midwest variant on the famed Case Study houses that were then being constructed in Los Angeles. (The Case Study houses – the most famous of which is the 1949 Eames House designed by Weese’s friends, Charles and Rae Eames – were sponsored by Arts & Architecture Magazine with the aim of showcasing new materials and construction methods for modern low-cost housing) The front of the house is obscured by slatted screens while the back – which is oriented to the south – has large windows. The interior is open and airy with screens and bookcases used to  delineate the first floor kitchen, dining and living rooms. Over the course of his long career, Weese provided Chicago with its most sustained alternative to the overwhelming dominance of Mies van der Rohe and the International Style with eclectic buildings influenced by the Scandinavian Modernists Alvar Aalto and Eliel and Eero Saarinen as well as early Chicago architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan.