This project showcases the principles of historic renovation and preservation that facilitate modern living. The remodel, contained within what was originally the kitchen and butler’s pantry, demonstrates how skilled design work makes modern living feel at home in a structure from an era when spaces functioned very differently than they do today.
Constructed in 1910, the E.L. Powers House is a stunning example of Prairie School architecture and was one of the first projects undertaken by the renowned partnership of William Purcell and George Elmslie. The original interior features a spectacular array of leaded glass, terra-cotta tile work, lighting featuring aurene shades by Tiffany & Co., and intricately detailed millwork and casework.
As is often the case in older houses, the kitchen had been modified in a manner opposed to its pedigree and was problematic from aesthetic, functional, and historic standpoints. By carefully considering the context, details, and overall aesthetic of the home, the architects addressed the homeowner’s needs and paid respectful and honest tribute to the house and the stylistic movement to which it belongs.The kitchen is not a copy or restoration of the original, but a synthesis of modern needs, historically sensitive details, and Prairie School doctrine.
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Click on a thumbnail to see a full-size view. All photos by Richard Michell.