firm active: 1907-1921

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S. F. Blymer summer residence #1
Purcell, Feick and Elmslie
Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota  1910

Text by William Gray Purcell
Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1910

Job Date (in Parabiographies): March 24, 1910

S. F. BLYMER, Minneapolis

Working drawings, April 7, 1910 Draughting: Marian [sic] Parker, W.G.P., G.F., Jr., G.G.E.

This Lake Minnetonka "cottage," really a frame cabin, is almost a classic type for its purpose. I was at first inclined to take a good deal of credit for its design--but the more I study it and recall that summer, the more I see (that) G.G.E.'s pencil putting down the lines that fixed its forms. He had been working closely with us all that winter of 1909-1910, although he was still spending much of his time in Chicago.

George Feick landed this job and saw it through construction. I did little but look over Miss Parker's shoulder. But you can see her following George Elmslie's designing very faithfully. The plan is so practical and direct, with plenty of height in the main room and a good big fireplace. The lines are quiet and the whole thing very well knit. It's all a perfectly natural building, unmannered, happy and undated.

Dollars and Sense

In looking at many of the more highly articulated projects for summer living, at the brilliant things, for example, which Frank Lloyd Wright has done, at many of George Elmslie's imaginative sketches, one may feel that this is almost too much of sophomore study to be worthy of more than passing consideration. But we conscientiously took into account the factor of cost, as a vital condition to be considered; indeed, had this building put forth any blossoms, its economic roots would never had kept it alive. It was built, it satisfied, it stands the test in its place after thirty years--good architecture, and architecture is the thing built under the sky. The project that did not reach actuality in building materials, failed to meet some factor in its articulation with life even if that factor be the stupidity of men.

   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.4]
research courtesy mark hammons