firm active: 1907-1921

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Henry Einfeldt residence
Purcell and Elmslie
River Forest, Illinois  1914

Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1910
Text by William Gray Purcell
for 1914

Job Date (in Parabiography): November 30, 1914


This shows what can be done with very conventional houses and very conventional minded people. Of course, we had one big advantage - an unusually broad lot with the long axis of the house parallel with and well back from the street. The house suffered somewhat from lack of supervision and was out first building in which "rubberized shingles" were used . The long roof area, which was so carefully related to the decorative character of the scheme and would have been satisfying with any of a dozen interesting textures, simply looked terrible and still does. This roof surface problem has not yet been solved and all because the public and manufacturers alike are still living in the wood shingle world and are trying to make their product an imitation. The better the imitation, the more unsuccessful the result, because it is the deception which destroys the satisfying truth, and the more complete the deception the more devastating the final disillusionment. The ground is low in that part of River Forest, with plenty of water in everybody's basements, so we set the house high above the grade. Still we were to keep nice quiet lines and the basement playroom beautifully lighted by large windows at the rear. The owner had a clever idea which fell in line with our views. He wanted the basement all one room, no partitions except the coal bin. The idea worked out very satisfactorily in use, and it appeared that such a system encouraged all concerned to keep everything orderly and clean.

   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.8]
research courtesy mark hammons