Glessner House Wedding


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The innovative floor plan and design of the Glessner house rank it as one of the most important residential commissions of the 19th century. The walls of the house are pushed close to the lot lines, allowing for a spacious private courtyard within. The courtyard allowed abundant natural light to enter the main rooms of the house through south-facing windows, and also provided a level of privacy rarely achieved in urban residences. Additionally, a long servant hall is placed along the north side of the house, buffering the family spaces from the noise and dirt of 18th Street as well as the brutal winter winds. The exterior of the house is clad in Braggville granite, laid in courses of various heights, giving the house a strong horizontal appearance. Ornamentation is minimal, and includes an arch of stylized foliage over the front entrance and a series of carved capitals on the second floor columns. The design was distinctly different from the other houses on Prairie Avenue, and many neighbors did not understand it. Sleeping-car CEO George Pullman, who lived across the street in a traditional Second Empire mansion, said, "I do not know what I have ever done to have that thing staring me in the face every time I go out of my door. "