Friday, May 18, 2012

A photographic montage of the original Carl Street Studio, Chicago

This is a view (northwest elevation) of Edgar Miller and Sol Kogen’s original Carl Street Studios which was erected in 1927. The street name changed sometime in the 1930s to West Burton Place and the building is located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. In the last 25 years the studio has become a single family residence. Obviously, I’m not the first to highlight the Carl Street Studios but felt the pictures were interesting enough to be featured. (select the images for a larger view)

The mosaic street number sign at 155 West Burton Place and the home-made commemorative sign honor the Edgar Miller and Sol Kogen collaboration that began in 1927 and continued for nearly a decade. (select the images for a larger view)

A prominent architectural feature is the bay window with carved timbers. The wood timbers and trim was designed and carved by Edgar Miller in a stylized manner and suggests a strong indigenous folk art character. Inset terracotta tiles represent the mythical Greco-Roman deity Dionysus / Bacchus who was regarded as an inspiration to artists, philosophers and writers as well as being a friend to the spiraled horned eland and the antlered elk. Another interest of Miller is the horse motif and equine tiles which are inset on the sides of the bay. (select the images for a larger view)

The initials S and K for Sol Kogen become an integral part of the iron entry gate which is framed by a solid post and lintel threshold and mosaic sidewalk.  The exterior walls of the original house were covered with a new facade of common brick and featured ornamental textural elements and patterns. Edgar Miller designed and made his work himself. Miller felt that it was the responsibility of the artist to not only design the work but have the skill and ability to make it and install it. For Edgar, the best art for the home was literally built into the architecture. (select the images for a larger view)

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