The Robert Emmond House in LaGrange, Illinois is an early work of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed in 1892 while he was still employed by Adler and Sullivan. Though it pre-dates his Prairie Style work, the Emmond House is one of the best representative examples of Wright’s earliest independent work as he was beginning to meld his influence from J. Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan with his own ideas about architecture. Wright also designed a porch with arched columns that was added in 1895.
Over the decades, the wood clapboard house was covered in a brick veneer and the porch extensively modified. The private owners have been restoring the house to its original interior and exterior appearance. Gilmore Franzen Architects served as architect of record for this work, including the design for the exterior restoration. When those architects moved out of state, Harboe Architects was hired to oversee the exterior construction administration phase.
Exterior work included removal of the brick veneer and restoration of the original wood clapboard siding, window repair, a new wood shingle roof, reconstruction of the small entry porch and reconstruction of the arcaded side porch. Paint analysis of the wood cladding hidden for decades on the side porch revealed the original light brown color, which was replicated.
The project was recently recognized with the 2008 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Restoration.