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Antique Carpet Trends in Chicago
Claremont Rug Company has had the privilege of working with many clients in Chicago since the company’s founding in 1980, helping families build incomparable collections of art-level antique carpets. Many unique architectural styles developed in Chicago during the end of the 19th century and turn of the 20th century. Our Chicago clientele appreciates the experience of pairing our fine art-level Oriental rugs with their architecturally unique homes whether they reside in an iconic Victorian style estate in Lake Forest or a Prairie School style home in Glencoe or any style in between.
Visualizing how your potential carpet choices will look in your home has never been easier with our numerous presentation tools. Claremont Rug Company offers a selection of convenient shopping options even if you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are local to you – regardless of where you reside.
Often times when our clients begin living with just one antique carpet, they find how enlivening the experience of adding an antique art-level carpet can be to a home and develop a growing desire to collect. From a classic bungalow in Highland Park to a modern style home in Wilmette, whatever style your Chicago home may be an antique Persian or Oriental carpet can be the perfect addition to rejuvenate a living space. Above see how a full room size Malayer Camelhair carpet breathes new life into this Chicago client’s elegant dining room.
Our website is the ideal tool to rapidly educate and familiarize yourself with the world of antique Oriental carpets, offering abundant and easy-to-digest information on the numerous carpet styles available to your project. Over 1,000+ of our carpets are available for you to browse online at your leisure, with full-size, color-accurate high resolution images only a click away.
All can be easily sorted by size and carpet type, to make your search eminently manageable. You can organize your choices on your own Wish List that is there for you to return to for up to 3 years. As you explore freely through our gallery, carpets of special interest can be flagged and added to your personalized wish list. As you hone your taste, these wish lists can record your favorites, and can be effortlessly forwarded to a designer, architect, spouse or friend with whom you would like to share.
Whether your home is an unprecedented urban estate in Hinsdale or a metropolitan tower condo in the Gold Coast neighborhood or a Prairie School style estate home in the Winnetka, antique 19th-century Persian and Oriental art-level carpets pair beautifully with any decor style. A perfect example is the client’s home, pictured above. See how a spectacular carpet can define the aesthetic character of a space, as does this antique Oriental carpet in a Chicago client’s family room.
Our extensive online Antique Oriental Rug Educational Section is an expansive resource with sections discussing Decorating with Antique Carpets, Collecting and Connoisseurship, a Nine-point Methodology for Determining Quality and Artistry, Main Categories of Antique Carpets, Antique Oriental Rug Care and much more.
Historical Homes and Prominent Architecture in Chicago
Chicago is one of the nation’s most historical cities. The city holds many of our nation’s firsts such as the nation’s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, built in 1884 at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931. Chicago is home to the tallest building in North America and the third tallest in the world, the 1,450-foot Sears Tower, completed in 1974. Below view a selection of the cities most iconic buildings and homes designed by some of the most well-known architects in America during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio
951 Chicago Ave.
In a leafy neighborhood with nearly 30 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, the house at the corner of Forest and Chicago might not stand out at first.
But the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio is an early expression of the ideas that ultimately became the Prairie School—and the place where some of the most famous buildings in that style were designed.
When Louis Sullivan loaned $5,000 to a young draftsman in his office in 1888, he probably didn’t see it as an early investment in one of America’s most significant architects. And initially, the modest Oak Park house that Frank Lloyd Wright built was only a subtle foreshadowing of the revolution to come.
Wright launched his own practice in 1893, and his growing family necessitated an expansion of the house by 1895. In 1899, having moved his practice into the house, he expanded it again, adding the large studio whose suspended drafting balcony was one of his earliest structural innovations.
While the Home & Studio isn’t clearly Prairie School, it is distinct from its fussier Victorian contemporaries. They share a few formal elements, including a front porch and a grand main stairwell, but even those are executed quite differently. Wright pointedly configured the house’s windows to block views of neighboring Victorian homes.
But the differences are significant as well. The movement through a compressed entryway into a larger living space makes an early appearance, as does the open plan arranged around a central hearth. Even the materials and color scheme prefigure the Prairie School.
In a sense, the studio was a school, a training ground for some of the best-known architects of the Prairie School. Some of Wright’s most talented and important employees worked for him in Oak Park, including William Drummond, Barry Byrne, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin.
There, they helped Wright bring the nascent Prairie School to maturity, working on such iconic buildings as Unity Temple (1908) and Robie House (1909).
Beeson House and Coach House
5810 W. Midway Park
As befitting the eclectic Queen Anne style of architecture, this house and coach house, built in 1892, features a variety of materials, roof forms, classically inspired details, and unique features, including a stepped gable, tiny balcony, canted columns, and overscaled keystones. It was built for Fredrick Beeson, the president of the Chicago Veneer Company.
Burling Row House District
2225-2245 N. Burling Street
The ten brick row houses that make up this district form one of the best surviving row house groupings built in the post-Chicago Fire years of the 1870s. They were among the first built following passage of a city ordinance that required “fireproof” masonry construction in the city’s neighborhoods. They are significant examples of the Italianate style, which dominated Chicago architecture between the Civil War and the late-1870s. Because they were designed as a unit, the row houses have an exceptional architectural unity with common setbacks, scale, and height. They are further distinguished for their fine window ornament and a very rare, intact wooden cornice that all ten houses share. The row houses were designed by one of Chicago’s earliest and most important architects, whose other prominent buildings include St. James Episcopal Cathedral, the Nickerson Mansion, and the Church of the Epiphany.
Clark House Museum
1827 S. Indiana Ave.
Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. This Greek Revival style house shows what life was like for a family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. Henry Brown Clarke moved his family from Utica, New York, to the fledgling city of Chicago in 1835. Clarke quickly found success selling hardware and building supplies and began building this home near 16th St and Michigan Ave in 1836. Clarke’s house emulated the ancient Greek style. Greek Revival was popular in early America because it linked the new country with ancient democracy. The elements of a Greek temple were brought down to residential scale, with a grand staircase entrance beneath a pediment resting on substantial columns, and wooden clapboard siding whitewashed to suggest marble. A substantial timber frame gave shape to the house, and its durability has helped the house survive these many years.
Chicago wasn’t incorporated until 1837, the fascinating history of this home began at a time when Chicago received its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie.
Over the years, the house survived fires, belonged to a church, and was moved twice – during the second move, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is now located in the Chicago Women’s Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic District and operated as a museum by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station
806 N. Michigan Ave.
By the 1860s, Chicago’s water supply was inadequate for its growing population. To solve the problem, Chief Engineer Ellis S. Chesbrough looked to Lake Michigan. Near-shore lake water was too polluted to be used because of runoff from the Chicago River. This prompted an innovative solution. Chesbrough designed a water supply tunnel system running nearly two miles offshore to an intake crib. When the tunnel was completed in 1867, lake water was pumped back to shore through a pumping station. Because the original pumps produced pressure surges and pulsation in the water, a standpipe system was added in 1869.
William Boyington designed both the pumping works building on the opposite side of Michigan Avenue (then Pine Street) and the Water Tower that houses the standpipe. Both buildings were built with distinctive yellow Joliet limestone, a very popular building material in the city at the time. Both were built in Boyington’s signature castellated Gothic Revival style.
See a 1000+ piece sampling of our current collection of antique art rugs.
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