This unique two-apartment building shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement that began in England in the late 19th century. The Movement’s focus was on hand crafted items and simple design, and from the street you can see the many craftsman like features on the building. It was built in 1913 by Anne Radzin for a cost of $5,500. Frank Radzin, her husband was a masonry contractor and the first owner. He immigrated from East Prussia to Chicago in 1881. The architect was B.J. Hotton who may be better known for St. Pascel’s Catholic Church in Chicago.
While the main building has a flat façade the sun porch projection is large with a front gable and overhanging eves with exposed brackets. These brackets indicate the willingness of this style to show the structure of the building. Stucco is used on the surface of this sun porch in panels that break up the brick wall. Square accents are used on the façade next to the higher stucco panel. These are repeated on the façade above the porch roof in the parapet. Across the front above the second floor windows are stucco panels divided by vertical brick elements that break up the design of the larger space.
At the base of the building is a stone corner of carved limestone and opposite it a beautiful planter. An open veranda leads to the simple entrance with an oak and glass door and a side light. In the entrance hall the floor is mosaic with a fret design around the edges. The mail boxes are original with the original speaking tube. The wall is clad with marble and designed with a wainscoting.
Once thru the front door the staircase and hallway are detailed with the wainscoting and a unique arts and crafts oak hand rail and baluster. The element of squares in the design is repeated here. The doors in the building are also arts and crafts with two vertical panels in oak and a stained glass above in six panels. The apartment you will see is on the second floor.
The entrance hall includes a closet and opens into both the dining room and the living room. On the west wall of the living room are two stained glass windows in brightly colored organic design. They were hidden until the owner found them recently. They indicate that the wall had once had a fireplace and book shelves on either side. The oak moldings have been painted over to give a more modern look. All the floors are oak.
The window arrangement in the sun porch is unusual with four windows at the top, then two windows and then one. There are three window units across the front and two window units on each side. This sun porch concept became popular in apartment buildings in Chicago in the as a means to draw light into a building which was tightly set next to the adjacent buildings. Care was also taken to set rooms with windows to offer more natural light. You will notice this especially in the spacious dining room. The alcove on one wall indicates that a built in buffet has been removed.
This front socializing part of the apartment is separated from the family area in the rear by a beautiful original door with stained glass. It is probably birch or pine wood. The design of the space with a separate private part for the family became popular with the building of bungalows. The small hallway had two bedrooms to the left which may have originally been three bedrooms. The back bedroom was probably quite small and here it was used to make the second bedroom larger and add closets across the rear of the room. The bathroom in the hall has been updated with beautiful tile and fixtures. Across from it is a linen storage unit built into the wall.
The kitchen is new but the original pantry has been retained. The rear door opens onto an enclosed porch which functions as a “three seasons” room. The ice box delivery door is still there and a staircase leads to the back yard and garage.