Thursday, November 17, 2016

Here and About- Pleasant Home- Oak Park

Pleasant Home and Mills Park,
in Oak Park, Illinois,
on a brilliant fall day.
The Praire Style house was designed in 1897
 by prominent architect, George W. Maher. 
It is the only Maher building open as a museum.   
The Home is on the National registry
 of Historic Landmarks and sits on five acres. 
Pleasant Home was designed for investment banker 
and philanthropist John W. Farson 
and his wife Mamie Ashworth Farson.
 The design broke with the traditional Queen Anne
 and colonial revival styles
 of most of the homes in Oak Park. 
There is the wonderful expansive porch 
and the use of decorative motifs 
such as the circle, lion's head and rectangular banner
 that unify the spaces and design.
Cleverly named Pleasant Home-
 because it sits
 at the intersection of Pleasant and Home streets.
 The design details are abundant.
Maher was a contemporary of the group
 of Prairie architects that included Joseph Silsbee, 
George Elmslie and Frank Lloyd Wright.
 Maher designed more than 300 buildings
 in the United States.
The newly restored 
mahogany front entry welcomes all guests.
 Carvings, paintings and marble
as well as beautiful stained glass windows
invite close inspection.
The modern day "Tea Room" looking into what 
would have been the formal dining room.
In 1910, John Farson's widow 
sold the home to the family of Herbert Mills.
 This family amassed their fortune
 in the amusement machine business.
Thought the Farson's were known 
for their life of entertainment, 
the Mills family, Herbert and Leonie,
 raised four boys and four girls in the home.
 This home has a wonderful play
 of light and dark,
as well as the draw 
of the outside to the inside. 
  We gathered from across 
the miles for Tea Time,
 to step back into the space 
that beckons from last century,
                                     and dreamed of parties
 given a hundred years ago.
 We sipped tea, ate sandwiches,
and almost "left before dessert".
 When the Mills family owned the house - 
there was the influence 
of the Mills Novelty Company.
We were treated to the music of this
Violana Vituoso.
Pleasant Home is a 30 room study 
of craftsmanship and detail.
Oak carved woodwork, intricate tilework, 
stunning art glass windows and 
the addition of the novelty of electric lighting 
made for a stunning masterpiece from this era.
The library light fixture, remnants of the kitchen 
and a Mills family business- slot machine
 gather to tell a bit of the story.
A lovely day with a glimpse
 into a bygone time.
Thanks Judy May
 and daughter-in-law
Heidi Ruehle May
 for organizing such a wonderful time!

More photos for Pleasant Home here:
Pleasant Home
 Follow them on Pinterest Here:
Pleasant Home Foundation

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