Hillside Ranch Designed by James Dresser, Expanded by Schiller & Frank

Beautifully-Designed Home in Need of Restoration Palatine / United States / 1961

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6 Love 841 Visits Published

14 Brookdale Lane was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright student and Taliesin Fellow James Dresser. Dresser met his wife, Barbara (Fritz), while at Taliesin, after which he spent the remainder of his life designing both residential and commercial buildings all over the U.S.


Some of his designs include the Lake Geneva Public Library, the Del-Bar Supper Club, New York’s World’s Fair pavilion, the original Tommy Bartlett’s Robot World and many other commercial buildings, restaurants and, of course, residences.


The home at 14 Brookdale was originally much more modest. Completed in 1956, the home featured just two bedrooms, a single bathroom, kitchen, living room and the bonus room in the lower level, off of which were the mechanicals and laundry.


When you visit the home, you’ll see many vintage plats of survey and plans for additions that were proposed, but never built. Some plans show an addition cantilevered out over the hill to the west, while others show variations on a theme.


Ultimately, the firm of Schiller & Frank (Burton Frank himself a noted modernist architect in the Chicago area) drew up the plans to expand the home, adding an entire new wing as well as a garage. The resulting footprint now includes three bedrooms, including a master en-suite with a driftstone surround for the sunken tub, and a 3rd bathroom at the east end of the house.


Expertly sited on the nearly 2 acres of land overlooking Salt Creek and surrounded by mature trees, the home features a warm, open layout that blurs the lines between indoors and out, between nature and the comforts of home.


The post-and-beam construction lends itself to be re-interpreted by the homes next owners. Imagine, if you will, removing the current kitchen walls and, instead, incorporating a waterfall-style island of natural materials lengthwise, opening up the space and providing views from one end of the house to the other, allowing the natural light through the many floor-to-ceiling and clerestory windows to fill the home even more.


A new laundry space could be created in the den between the current kitchen and garage, in the sharp corner of the room, allowing for day-to-day activities to remain solely on the home’s main living level.


Due to the lot’s generous proportions, the home could be expanded up the hill toward Brookdale, or down the hill to the north, where additional living spaces or a new master suite could be added – all in character, with the help of a local architect who has an expertise, appreciation and eye for the home’s original organic architecture – leaving the new owners with a truly spectacular, sprawling mid-century masterpiece.


And all within a few short minutes of transportation, shopping, restaurants and the area’s many amenities, and within the highly-rated Fremd High School district.


If you or one of your clients would like to rescue, restore and love this home, please contact me. PLEASE NOTE I am not an architect. I am a Realtor in the Chicago area who specializes in Mid-Century Modern, Organic Modern and Ranch homes.

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    14 Brookdale Lane was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright student and Taliesin Fellow James Dresser. Dresser met his wife, Barbara (Fritz), while at Taliesin, after which he spent the remainder of his life designing both residential and commercial buildings all over the U.S. Some of his designs include the Lake Geneva Public Library, the Del-Bar Supper Club, New York’s World’s Fair pavilion, the original Tommy Bartlett’s Robot World and many other commercial buildings, restaurants...

    Project details
    • Year 1961
    • Work started in 1956
    • Work finished in 1961
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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