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One Of Frank Lloyd Wright's Only Row Homes Is On The Market

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 29, 2014 7:00PM

The Roloson Row Homes. (Photo credit: Debbie Mercer)

Anytime a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home is up for sale it makes news, but one currently listed on the South Side has us intrigued because of its uniqueness among the body of Wright’s work.

One of the Robert Roloson row houses in the Douglas neighborhood has been listed by local real estate firm @properties with an asking price of $685,000. Built in 1894, the Roloson homes are believed to be the only row house development in Wright’s portfolio, with a vertical appearance uncommon in the legendary architect’s work. Here’s what Frank Lloyd Wright Tours has to say about the development.

At first glance, their verticality opposes any notion that these were designed by Wright, but a closer analysis discovers characteristics specific to Wright’s work of the period. The Roloson Row Houses have a base of limestone that wraps around the front doors and windows of the first floor -similar to that seen in both the Charnley House and the Winslow House in River Forest, Illinois, built in 1892 and 1894 respectively. Wright selected Roman bricks as the exterior material for this collection of houses; an interesting choice as Roman bricks help to emphasize horizontality and the houses display an overwhelmingly vertical appearance. Wright used Roman Bricks in many of the houses he designed during his experimental/transitional period leading up to the Prairie Style.

The Roloson houses are city landmarks protecting them from alteration or demolition. The 4,500 square-foot home at 3215 S. Calumet Ave. contains four bedrooms, 3-1/2 baths and a Wright signature living space containing a receiving room, parlor and library.