The Mary Adams House.
Highland Park, Illinois

Mary Adams was Wright most elderly client when she, at age 73, hired a young Frank Lloyd Wright (then 36) in 1905 to design a new house for her in Highland Park, Illinois. Wright's original scheme was evidently too costly, so the built Mary Adams House represents the second design accomplished for this client.

The current owners purchased the house from the third owners in 2011. Eifler & Associates were retained as architects for the house due to their experience in restoring buildings designed by Wright, but also because of their commitment to sustainable design. The exterior of the house will be restored to its original condition, with the exception of a small kitchen extension on the East side of the building, required to make the plan of the kitchen more efficient. Layers of paint and plaster mixes were removed by means of a water/sand blasting mix to expose the original brown coat of stucco. A tinted finish coat will be applied to match the original color.

Supplemental insulation will be placed on top of the original roof sheathing, and new aluminum roofing shingles will be used in lieu of the original wood shingle roof. Approved by the State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the aluminum shingles are manufactured with 95% recycled aluminum and can be returned for recycling after the anticipated 30 year life.

Exterior trim and windows have been stripped of years of stain and paint, and a new UV protective semi-transparent stain will be applied in the original color. Double-glazed interior storms will be added to increase the energy efficiency of the home

Inside, the original stairs have been altered over time and will be returned to their original design. The primary rooms on the first floor will be restored, and a new kitchen will be installed with cabinets reminiscent of the original design (long since removed) and contemporary energy star appliances. The house will be heated and cooled by means of a geothermal mechanical system.

Subtle plan changes to the second floor will create an enlarged master bedroom and bath by eliminating the servant's room. New bathrooms will recreate the look of the original bathrooms which had been redecorated in the 1950's.

The Brooks Building,   223 W Jackson Blvd.  Suite 1000,  Chicago, Illinois 60606        T 312.362.0180        F 312.362.0112