Name: Emil Bach House
Location: 7415 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago IL 60626
Year Built: 1915
Style: Prairie Style
Who knew Frank Lloyd Wright built a custom designed house in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago? The Emil Bach House, built in 1915, is one of FLW’s last Prairie Style designed houses. The house is a modification of FLW’s design for “A Fireproof House for $5000,” which was published in the Ladies Home Journal in 1907. While this house definitely resembles the $5,000 Fireproof Home design FLW is famous for, you can start to recognize some of the soon-to-be Usonian Style elements in the house if you know what you are looking for.
Emil Bach was co-owner of the Bach Brick Company. He lived in the house with his wife and son. When touring the house, it is important to keep in mind that this house was built for a family of three. The built-in dining room table is designed to accompany the family meals on a daily basis, but its design, which stretches the table into the living room area, also provides extra seating for guests. The fireplace is complete with an alcove to exemplify FLW’s belief that the hearth is the heart of the home.
What was truly amazing about this house was the view of Lake Michigan. Unfortunately this picturesque scenery is now blocked due to an apartment complex which built to the east blocking the magnificent view of Lake Michigan. Emil Bach was rumored to have enjoyed daily walks down to the lake for swimming therapy. The backyard is cleverly separated from busy Sheridan Road by a partition wall with square cutouts providing the family privacy, peace and quiet, but also keeping the backyard open to the front.
The living room of the house, which overlooks Sheridan Road is actually very quiet for the house being so close to a busy street. FLW obtained this feat by building the house up a level instead of down into the ground (which he did with the Frederick C. Robie House in Hyde Park).
HINT: You too can tour the Emil Bach House! The house was lovingly restored with the financial help of the Pritzker family and architectural restoration of Harboe Architects, PC.
The house is open for tours throughout the year, so check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Emil Bach House Tours page for availability. Tours are given on Wednesdays and Thursdays from May through September.
I have been lucky enough to tour the house on a few occasions, but have never spent the night. It is on my to-do list! I have included some photographs I took during my visits to the house. If you ever have a chance to tour this house, I highly recommend doing so!