David Adler (1882-1949)
David Adler (1882-1949) was one of the most important architects designing homes and estates in the United States during a period known as that of the "great American house." David Adler's works-which range in date from 1911 to 1949-were truly American, offering an enormous range of stylistic expression on the exteriors and a simpler definition of interiors than traditional European models allowed.
Important American architect
David Adler was a prolific architect, designing over 200 buildings. David was the son of Therese and Issac Adler. David Adler had one sister, Francis Adler Elkins, who became one of the mid 20th-century's great interior decorators and often worked with her brother on residential projects.
After graduating from Princeton in 1904, David Adler travelled extensively, mostly studying and observing the architecture of Europe. After returning to the United States in 1911, he began working for Howard Shaw in Chicago, Illinois. Later, Adler opened a new office with Henry Dangler, a friend from Paris. Due to his association with Henry Dangler, Adler didn't register as an architect in Illinois until 1929, which was after he had already been elected to the American Institute of Architects.
In 1916, David Adler married Katherine Keith, an Illinois socialite and writer. They moved to Libertyville one year later. Adler became a widower in 1930 after his wife was killed in a car accident in Europe.
This important book features seventeen homes and one private club designed by David Adler, all of which are beautifully reproduced in full-color with newly commissioned photographs by the firm of Hedrich Blessing. Highlights of this volume include the Stuart-style country house in the manner of Sir Christopher Wren, built for Mr. and Mrs. Richard T. Crane in Ipswich, Massachusetts; the Celia Tobin Clark residence, in Hillsborough, California, in which Adler used English half-timber construction; and the William McCormick Blair House, built in Lake Bluff, Illinois, a Colonial New England farm house that constituted a new experiment for David Adler.
Adler's interior designs
The book also presents examples of David Adler's interior designs, which respond to the demands of modern life by featuring both the use of new materials and historical elements or furniture acquired during his European travels.
David Adler's Home
The David Adler Estate at 1700 North Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, Illinois was the residence of architect David Adler. Adler lived there in the 1864 farmhouse from 1918 until his death on September 27, 1949. Although he continually made changes to his property, the major ones were made in 1926, 1934, and in 1941, during the property's period of historic significance. Today, the historic property, nominated to the National Register of Historic Places on November 22, 1999, includes the home and 11 acres.
Martha Thorne is associate curator of architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. After receiving a master's degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania she resided for many years in Madrid, where Martha Thorne collaborated with architectural publications and curated exhibitions for the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Urbanism, including Museums and Architecture: New Perspectives and Building in a New Spain.
Architect David Adler
David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style by Martha Thorne
Publisher: Yale Univ Press, 2002
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