Edward and Florence Irving Residence and Garage: Decatur, Illinois

The Irving Residence

Looking at the side of the Irving hosue and garage.

Another good look at the well shaded Irving House

Irving House with the street light. The design looks very Wright indeed, though I couldn't find any documentation that it was designed by Wright.

William Allin Storrer tells a very interesting story of this house. This home was designed in 1909 and was the last home that Wright worked on before leaving for Europe with Mamah Cheney. It was one of the few homes where Wright was given a complete free hand. He designed the home, the furnishings and even the uniforms worn by the servants. Construction on the home started in 1910 and was overseen by Marion Mahony and Hermann von Holst who worked in Wright's firm and took up many of his commissions after he skipped town for Europe. Walter Burley Griffin designed the landscape for the home. There were some changes made to the design in Wright's absensce.

The detached Irving Garage behind the main house.

A close-up of the garage

 

Definitely one of my favorite things about this home is the street on which it is located. Decatur, Illinois is a prairie town if I've ever seen one. Its flat and surrounded by farmland on every side. Millikin Place is a street that is devoted almost entirely to prairie style homes. The Irving house was designed by Wright and built by Mahony and van Holst. The Mueller house next door was designed and built by Mahony and van Holst. A friend wrote me that he'd done some research and found that there are some drawings of some of the furnishings in the Mueller house in the Frank Lloyd Wright archives. That seems to lead to the conclusion that he did have a start on the drawings for the home and Mahoney and von Holst finished the design. Even the homes down the street fit right in with these two beautiful homes.

The Mueller House

Another look at the Mueller House

A third look at Mueller

The home on the far side of the Irving Residence

Another look at the house at the end of the street.

This home totally fits in with the others on the street.

 

The huge house across the street is completely out of place. It looks like the Adams Family house. It is interesting, but for once it looks totally out of place in the presence of organic homes on the block. A knowledgeable friend has told me that this is the Millikin mansion. He has taken a tour of the home and says it is very interesting to the point of being somewhat commical. The docents dress in period clothing and show off every detail of the home. All of the homes pictured above are on property that was originally part of the plot of land for the Millikin mansion.

The Millikin mansion across the street from the Irving residence. It is under renovation and was not open for tours. The signs were covered when I got there and I couldn't get much information about it. .

This is the guest house for the Millikin Mansion.

Another look at the Millikin Mansion. If you look carefully, you can see Mortitia and Gomez Adams peeking out through one of the tower windows. ;) Just kidding...

I don't know who designed the pillars at the end of the street or the light fixtures, but I sure like the way it sets the tone for the neighborhood.

Pillars at the entrance of Millikin Place

Another view of the pillars and lamps

Nice street sign, eh?

Street light

The entry to the street

Mrs. Irving lived in the home until 1950 and it has had many owners since. According to Storrer, the interior has been updated and modernized.

 

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