I was searching the internet for something else when I came across these vintage photos of a garden house on the Joseph Cudahy estate in Lake Forest Illinois, which was designed in 1930 by David Adler.  Cudahy was a meat packing executive, and his wife Jean Morton, a passionate gardener, was daughter of Secretary of the Interior Sterling Morton, who created Arbor Day.  The garden house was listed as among the ten most endangered buildings in Lake Forest in 2005, apparently being totally neglected with caved in roof.  The main house was recently for sale for in the neighborhood of five million dollars, so laziness, rather than money, would seem the culprit here.  Naturally, I don't understand, because a little Orangery with arched windows and a fountain pool in the center seems like just the ticket to me here in Maine on a January afternoon, and I can't imagine it would be any less so in the Chicago area...

Be sure to click on photo for larger to see the fine detail.


Reggie Darling said...

Reggie . . . wants . . . an . . . orangery! I think I would model mine after the one at Boscobel, though. It would be more fitting for Darlington House. One adores a David Adler orangery, of course. But regardless of all that, I sure wants one, but bad! RD

Blue said...

What a beautiful little building it is. Precisely the kind of place I'd like to have as a study though probably would have to do something about UV protection.

We saw a lot of orange trees, still with fruit, in Rome this Christmas and on the dullest of wet days - and there were a couple - the oranges shone like lamps in the gloom.

Anonymous said...

The entire house is in a tragic rotted, over grown state of disrepair. And here is why...

(Crain's Chicago Business) -- Clyde Engle, a Chicago businessman who once chaired the failed Bank of Lincolnwood, has been ordered to pay $53 million to a group of homeowners who sued him for attempting to dodge payment on a previous judgment.

A Maui Circuit Court jury on Wednesday awarded the judgment as part of a 2008 lawsuit that accused Mr. Engle of fraudulently transferring assets to his wife in a move to avoid paying $2.5 million in 2002. That amount has grown to $4 million with accruing interest.

If Mr. Engle "hadn't transferred his assets to his wife, he wouldn't have been in a position to not pay his creditors," said George Grumley, a lawyer with Chicago-based Grumley Kamin & Rosic LLC who co-represented the residents of a Tennessee development.

Mr. Engle said he found the verdict "really surprising."

Wednesday's award consisted of $10 million in damages and $43.5 million in punitive damages. The fraudulent-transfer suit stemmed from another suit filed in 1995.

Homeowners had been promised a 30-acre man-made lake as part of the development, but the feature failed to retain water. Residents filed a breach of contract suit against the developer, and in 2002 a jury found Mr. Engle personally liable for the $2.5-million award.

Mr. Engle, who splits his time between Chicago and Maui, claimed he was broke and unable to make the payment.

The Devoted Classicist said...

David Adler designed two houses in Lake Forest for Joseph and Jean (of the Morton Salt family) Cudahy. Innisfail, a circa 1914 Louis XVI style pavilion at 275 Sussex Lane, was for sale this past summer for $7.9 million and appears to be well maintained. Innisfail II, circa 1932, at 830 North Green Bay is an even larger house that appears to be classic Adler Georgian from the teeny grainy photo; this must be the site of this orangery. In any case, it is a wonderful architectural statement and a shame to be in bad repair. I loved seeing the photos as I am as fascinated by outbuildings as I am of main houses.

Anonymous said...

In the late 70s the house was bought by W. Clement Stone Jr., who hired Chicago decorator Richard Himmel ,who gave it a major "Arch. Digest" style re-du. He removed the original discrete front door with bonnet and moved the houses entrance to the East elevation, installing his own much grander set of double doors. He replaced the old entrance with a big stone bay made up of 3 large sheet glass windows. He generally swept through the place giving it a big bold 70s look. It's been a long time since this house has had an owner who understood what it's really about... lets hope it time for a comeback.

Anonymous said...

here's a link to the house:

Toby Worthington said...

Orangery divine~ and let's give a nod to that very
simple wrought iron design in the foreground.

Mrs. Blandings said...

You know I always prefer the smaller house in the back. This post captures all I love about blogging; great research and inspiration with "more" in the comments.

Anonymous said...

This second house (in the 18th French Provincial style) for J. Cudahy by D. Adler (at 830 Greenbay Road in Lake Forest Illinois) is not for sale. But it's definitely true, the whole place is falling apart.

Anonymous said...

What Mrs. Blandings said!

And thank you for more window porn [though not quite topped by that singular gem at HH's The Garden House] but, for some serious hardcore, trek to Reggie's Boscobel orangery, as there you will find a PAIR [presumably, can't find any interior views] of facing chimneys/fireplaces and a pair of gorgeous facing [walk through!] windows that surprised me by being fully functioning. I must share; scroll just beyond 2/3 down the page for X rated windows and more:


The Down East Dilettante said...

Reggie, absolutely agreed about the Boscobel Orangery, and the possession of orangeries in general.

Blue, it's a cold gray day here, and your glowing orange trees in the rain in Rome have opening a visceral longing.

Anon, thanks, very interesting background.

Devoted, the second Innisfall is pictured in Richard Pratt's David Adler. A really lovely, restrained French manoir style in stone.

Anon, 8:00 AM, this is the first Innisfall, also Adler, also elegant. The Innisfall with the orangery is at 830 Greenbay Road in Lake Forest.

Mr. Worthington, nod duly made and seconded.

Mrs. Blandings, thank you, and so agreed on both points. I'd love nothing more than to live in a wonderful outbuilding with one large room and a couple of small ones, and I love the discussion that a blog post will engender

Anon, thanks!

Flo, agreed on all points. I love the Boscobel Orangery, a wonderful space indeed, and yes, I'd still take the Hamilton Garden house first....

The Ancient said...


What this blog needs is fewer people who bitch and moan about the destruction of buildings they couldn't possibly afford to buy or maintain and more people willing to step up and piss away tens or hundreds of thousands on the preservation architectural curlicues that won't ever go into a property's resale price.

P.S. Happy New Year!

quintessence said...

Oh no - I hope someone sensitive to the heritage of the estate buys it and restores this charming building. What a shame! Such a David Adler fan here.

home before dark said...

What a delightful conversation. Always love the Ancient's curmudgeon wisdom and rascally comments. Agree about all, including the preservation issue...as well as the lovely idea of living in the "out house" surrounded by a lovely garden.

The Ancient said...


Here's another case study in sensitive conservation:


The Down East Dilettante said...

Ancient!!! Your link has me sputtering almost out of control. Just what the world needs. One less nasty old townhouse full of handsome mantels and deep windows, and one more of Hugh Jacobson's cliche egg crate bookcases. Sometimes, a truly great designer will learn to work with the givens, as will a truly great client. And as you said, are there no lofts in Washington?

This was just a stupid and gratuitous job. You gave 'em hell, and I say more of it, Sir. Good for you.

Janet said...

Will fix up garden house for a warm spot to sun myself. What a shame!!!! This is when I think all the wrong people have money.

The Ancient said...


Many thanks!

(Now if only our friend Reggie could bestir himself from his post-bonus stupor...)

((Or Toby, say.))

P.S. The local architects are all outraged by the "latitude" given to Jacobsen by a certain member of the neighborhood's historic preservation board.

The Ancient said...

P.P.S. Phillip Johnson famously described the practice of preserving the facades of 18th or 19th century buildings while gutting their interiors for some other use as "facadomy."

So it's really no surprise to see that someone who would do such a thing to a great Federal house is in more or less the same business:


Anonymous said...

"So it's really no surprise to see that someone who would do such a thing to a great Federal house is in more or less the same business..."

Chilling. The house is absolutely erased, even the exterior looks lasered. Ah, so Jacobsen did her office too.

So AD is publishing HNJ retreads still? For this, H&G gets shut down.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ancient & Flo,

My how we've wandered off-orangery. I went to AD and read the article. The claim is made that a renovation in the sixties had already erased all trace of the original house. One deeply suspects this statement to be a big disingenuous and self serving, but in absence of pictorial evidence to the contrary...

I am so in love with the twist of the laser surgeon who keeps Congress's skin smooth being the owner of the house. One suspects that the mantels in that house could have been carved by God herself and this woman would still have made certain they were gone, so disingenuous indeed...

Anonymous said...

"The claim is made that a renovation in the sixties had already erased all trace of the original house."

And AD's source for the claim was "According to local lore..." This is when the teenager in me says WHAT-ev-er.

"I am so in love with the twist of the laser surgeon...."

I'm also in love, especially with this twist straight from the mouth of the surgeon: “We wanted a house with a historic presence, but one we could put our mark on.”

Donna Seger said...

Amazing, inspired blog! I've learned so much. I'm from Maine too but now call Salem, Massachusetts home. Of course the Crane Estate in Ipswich, just up the coast, is an Adler house too.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Donna, Welcome.

The Crane estate is one of my favorites of all time, and the great allee one of the boldest landscape features in America. I would love to do a post about the amazing series of bathrooms there.

The Ancient said...

It's just not true that the interior had been ruined in the Sixties.

From an interview with Frida Burling, which can be read here: http://www.cagtown.org/OralHistory/2009/Frida_Burling.html

My benefit for the Georgetown Ministry that I love so was in a beautiful old row house at 3255 N, which had been Herman Wouk’s old house, dark and dreary, but a handsome, beautiful old house. Part of Cox Row. After his death it had been bought by Tina Alster and her husband George Frazer.
Annie Lou: Right.
Frida: Not George, Paul Frazer who was a former ambassador from Canada. And they got Hugh Jacobsen, my neighbor who we talked about before, to redecorate it. It is so totally different. It is Hugh Jacobsen's house now. It's white and has many open windows, and it's the indoor/outdoor that we've gone to lately.

Somewhere, there are pictures, too, of Wouk in his study, which was quite impressive. (Perhaps Frida didn't care for the decoration ...) I don't have Dilletante's research skills or I'd link to those, too.

(And finally, I was in the house on a couple of occasions. As I said, I know the neighborhood very well.)

P.S. As far as I know, Wouk is still alive at 95. Frida is the same age, and she may now equate leaving Georgetown with death.

The Ancient said...

One more thing, since I'm obviously bat-guano-crazy on this topic.

Wouk had the most beautiful roses in Georgetown growing along the side of his house. They had been there forever, and were lovingly tended -- as a trust -- for all the years the Wouks lived there.

The first thing the new owners did, even before renovations began, was tear those roses out.

The Down East Dilettante said...

As I also said O Wise Ancient, I found the idea that there was 'nothing left to preserve' completely disingenuous. And my 'superior research skills' failed me on this one. When I read a couple of days ago that it had been Herman Wouk's house, I was sure that somewhere I'd find a picture of the interiors, in which case I was going to carry our discussion into one of my sporadic 'when bad things happen to good buildings' posts, but I came up empty.

It's a shame. A little gentle remodeling, a little white paint, some Windex, they still could have had the interior the house deserved.

I hate it. I got very tired of Mr. Jacobsen's cartoon take on early american architecture several years ago----as a designer, he is definitely a one-trick pony, always has been. As I so frequently state, I do not prefer the old to the new, or the new to the old. I merely prefer good and appropriate to mundane and unnecessary.

End of rant. I know I'm talking to the choir here. I wss fascinated by how fatuous and unthinking the comments on the other website about this.

Once, it appeared that only New York was going to be the city with no original townhouse interiors left by 2050, but now it turns out that Georgetown and Boston are in the running. A couple of houses on Louisburg Square have even lost their graceful interiors to a 'McMansion Renaissance' style that could have come out of Home Depot.


Anonymous said...

"I'm obviously bat-guano-crazy on this topic."

As am I, for reasons too boring to share. Apologies to TDED, our patient, elegant host, for my staying off topic too long [and now, even longer].

From the attached article: "Wouk lives in chandeliered elegance in the Georgetown section of Washington DC, in an 1815 townhouse..."


The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh, no, no, Flo and Ancient, nothing to apologize for. I have LOVED this discussion, and because the whole thing makes me bat guano crazy too, this rampant destruction of the good that is now so fashionable, I will be sputtering about in on my deathbed.

I was actually going to turn this discussion into a post because it was going so interestingly, but, late breaking news has caused me to take a foray into semi-journalism today instead, as you will see.

jlasf said...

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Hugh Jacobsen is one of the great architectural preservationists. Just look at his work in the Renwick or the Hotel Talleyrand in Paris. If there was something of great value to be preserved in that house, I am sure that he would have preserved it.

As for "cliche' egg crate bookcases", I am not sure that something one creates can be a cliche'. Monet repeated his waterlilies over and over again. But no one looks at one of those paintings as says, "Oh, what a cliche'."

Jacobsen found his architectural "voice" years ago. To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, he simply does not cut his architecture to fit, "this year’s fashions." Nor should he.

The Down East Dilettante said...

jlasf, I agree in spirit with most of what you say---and am glad to be reminded of the Renwick. I also remember a house on Nantucket where he created a pleasing and respectful relationship between the old and the new. That said, I still deplore the increasing general tendency to sweep away all old orinconvenient to renovate features in a graceful old house like this.

As for the bookcases---they are admittedly handsome, but they, and that damnable children's building block style house that he's done several of in recent years are getting a bit predictable.

Jlasf said...

And I agree with you in spirit and in general. But in this specific example, I think Hugh Jacobsen is not an offender.

As to being "predictable," most renowned architects are. That's why one can recognize a Gehry, Maier, or Pei building a mile away. Or, in the case of the Louvre Pyramid, a kilometer away. They get commissions because their clients want their style. If you want a - Gehry, Calatrava, Meier, Jacobsen - building, you will get what you expect.

The Down East Dilettante said...

jlasf, So true---and amused by your Louvre Pyramid remark. Stay tuned, as I have a post coming up in a couple of weeks about a museum here in Maine that got it's own underground entrance through what looks like a subway station. Drives me nuts, absolutely bonkers, every time I go in.

Thanks for weighing in and tempering..

Anonymous said...

Great to see those photo's of 830 North Greenbay Road Lake Forest,IL
2013 with tree's growing out of the long abandon Greenhouse and the "Tree-Room" is about to fall down after 14 years of neglect by Slide Clyde Engle. No Natural gas heat after the gas company removed the meters, no hot water, stove for cooking, cloth dryers, no gas. And they still live inside the main. Its a reality TV show ~

Unknown said...

You people need to worry bout your own life. Look in the mirror California gentleman.

Robert Kleeman said...
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娛樂城註冊送 said...