This home was built by architect Julius Huber for Herman Lammers in 1898 on the standard 50’ lot. It was not designed in the Shingle style you see, but in a simplified Queen Anne in a rectangle on the north side of the lot. The Lammers had no children and it seems that they were world travelers. This had an impact on the design of the home. Their first alteration involved an addition on the south side of the home, creating an L-shaped home. This added two rooms to the home - one downstairs and one upstairs. In 1911, they contracted with Hatzfeld and Knox to make significant alterations to the home, mostly on the second floor. These alterations modified the home to the Shingle style, including the granite stone arch at the entrance and the granite stone fireplace. All but two of the windows on the second floor were changed to casement windows. Also part of the alterations was the creation of the gambrel gables on four sides of the home. The front gable is modified with a fan like detail at the top. This fan shape is repeated in the cantilevered porch roof overhanging the entrance steps. Two gables retain the simplified form of the original home. There are many guesses as to the origin of the design - some call it the Dutch house (for the typical Dutch colonial roof line) and some call it the gingerbread house (perhaps a reference to a German design). Although we have seen the plans for the alterations, there is no indication of the reason for them. The AIA guide to Chicago architecture simply refers to it as “whimsical.” Anyone who has lived through construction can see that this size project could not have gone on with people living in the home. We think we have a clue that they didn’t stay in the house because the original owners left a photo album of their sailing trip to Tahiti in about 1911-12.
The rock garden to the left in the front was added with the remodeling in 1911. Plans called for the entire foundation to have a granite stone veneer, but it stops at the front. The garden seems to have been made from the remaining stones. It once held a goldfish pond which the previous owner filled in because it was too interesting to the neighborhood children. The gate to the garden mimics the design of the home’s many gables.
As you enter the home through the granite arch, you go through a small hall with a bench and then the larger reception hall. The walls are paneled up to five feet with tongue and groove boards of a soft wood stained to look like walnut. This paneling continues throughout the living room, dining room and back hallway. All the doorways and windows have crown moldings. The ceilings in the living room and the dining room are beamed. In the reception hall there is a decorative molding at the ceiling. There is also a window bench bay and the original gas and electric ceiling fixtures. The staircase to the second floor begins with two steps in the reception hall to a landing that connects to the kitchen.
In the living room, you will see a beautiful granite stone fireplace with wooden mantel. On either side are matching windows - 16 over one pane of glass. The light fixtures match the one in the hall. To the front of the room facing the street is another bay window bench. On either side of the entrance to the dining room are matching window benches. In the 1911 remodeling, one of these benches was moved from its original location next to the window left of the fireplace. The doorway to the dining room is opened through pocket doors. In keeping with the use of a soft wood stained dark, these doors are not oak but pine.
The dining room has two built-in cabinets, one for china and glassware and one for dishes and linens. There is one original window in the room facing the rock garden. The windows to the west have been modified to casement windows and they open out onto a porch. Off the dining room is a room that was once called the library. It has a built-in gas fireplace. The bay window is modified with only two angles.
Back through the dining room is the passageway to the kitchen. The passage was originally a porch where the ice box was kept. The kitchen shows the mark of a designer with a wainscot molding all around the room. The sink and the ice box are original, as well as the central cabinet. One modification was made to widen the entrance to the kitchen from the front hall. The kitchen was originally only used by the cook and housekeeper.
As you ascend the staircase, you will notice that it has none of the grand design of the other older homes you have seen. It has much more of the simplicity of the craftsman design with one large oak beam and no handrails. On the second floor, you will see the large front room called the studio. It was used by Mrs. Lammers, who was an amateur painter. The room has a long front window bench and many windows. The central ceiling fixture may indicate that the room was once used for social events. Originally the room was two rooms and it was altered in the 1911 remodeling. The second owner of the home was also an artist who had her own advertising business. She also used this room as a studio. There are three remaining rooms on the second floor - one was the maid’s room and the other is a bedroom suite of two rooms.