Emil Bach House Restoration

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Emil Bach House (1915) in Chicago, Illinois, is regarded as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last Prairie style houses.   Built for brick maker Emil Bach, the house was designed for an urban environment and features a compact plan of 1600 s.f.  Over time, the house underwent numerous remodeling which diluted Wright’s original design.  Despite these changes, the Bach house was deemed of local and national significance and named a City of Chicago Landmark in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The project team was hired in 2011 to restore the house’s exterior back to its original appearance and complete the interior restoration started by the previous owner.  The meticulous restoration involved in-depth scientific analysis of materials and finishes.  Exterior work included restoring the concrete and stucco, replicating missing art glass windows, repointing brick masonry, refinishing exterior woodwork, recreating the original chimney, restoring the brick garden walls, and restoring the original site paving.   Interior work included re-plastering all walls and ceilings with the correct sand textured plaster and translucent paint, and replicating missing built-in millwork.  A sustainable geothermal HVAC system was also installed.   The house is now used for short-term vacation rentals.

Architect of Record

Gunny Harboe
Harboe Architects, PC
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 306
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: 312.977.0333

General Contractor

Vince Cordos
Cordos Construction
10 W. Hubbard St., Suite 2B
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Phone: 312.464.1788

Consultant 1

Dorothy Krotzer
Building Conservation Associates, Inc.
329 Race Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Phone: 215.923.2834

Consultant 2

Mark Nussbaum
Architectural Consulting Engineers
837 Hayes Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone: 708.524.0272

Consultant 3

James Kirk
Enspect Engineering
Merrillville, Indiana 46410
Phone: 219.736.6002

Consultant 4

Carol Yetken
CYLA Design Associates, Inc.
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone: 708.524.1484


Gunny Harboe
Same as Image 1

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