Purcell and Elmslie, Architects
Firm active: 1907-1921
Minneapolis, Minnesota :: Chicago,
Job Date (in Parabiographies entry): February 12, 1910
Working drawings, August 25, 1910 Revised February 10, 1911 Draughting: W.G.P., Lawrence B. Clapp, G.F., Jr.
We had done alterations for Mr. and Mrs. Stricker, (No. 39) which made them quite happy. But Mr. Stricker was a very prosperous wholesale hardware man, and Mrs. Stricker wanted a fine house, so they bought a beautiful lot with an extensive view over the valley toward the north and west, and asked us to design a house for it.
No Two Alike
We always seemed [sic] all the specialized and difficult plan problems. It would have been a shame to put a conventional house on the property, because with the conventional arrangement of the living rooms in front and the utilities to the rear, the Strickers would have been looking out into a sand bank across the street to the south. We, therefore, reversed the plan, basing it on established grades at two levels on account of the irregular terrain; but even so, the project called for a very high retaining wall to give them any level or useful yard on the lower yard [annotation by WGP on draft: level] to the north.
With real exaltation I left Mr. Stricker's home on a moonlight winter evening, December 1st, 1919 [sic. 1909], with approval of the preliminary studies which George Elmslie had made. This was one of our first prospects for a sizable dwelling.
Life with Father
Between Mrs. Stricker's specifications for her growing family and her desire for a very fine house, and Mr. Stricker's conservative desire to spend as little money as possible because he never had spent very much and looked askance at anything that savored of art or beauty, the bids on this project ran way beyond anything he could be coaxed to spend, and so the project was dropped. Plans called for a house which would have been a credit to us and a joy to him all the years in which his children were growing, and he was well able to afford it. That it was not built was a keen disappointment. A few years later we did more remodeling on the old house. (see No. 294 [there is no entry in the Parabiographies for that commission number])