Building Feature: Francis J. Dewes House, Chicago


There’s been a brief haitus over here (slightly less of one if you follow me on Insta or Twitter), but I’m here! I was in Chicago last week and happened across the Dewes House while in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. I planned a trek to the Dewes House when I was in Chicago last spring, but the sun was glaring and photography was difficult. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across it again last week on an overcast day (I know, I said it).

The Dewes House was built in 1896, and is an example of the eclectic architecture popular in Chicago following the 1893 Worlds Fair (anyone else excited about the Devil in the White City Movie?). One of the architects, Arthur Hercz, actually came to the Chicago World’s Fair from Hungary and stayed to work on this house; the other architect was Adolph Cudell, also a German immigrant. The house is Eclectic and absolutely gaudy, but I can’t take my eyes off of it. The detailing is at once Beaux Arts and Art Nouveau. The building has been called Central European Baroque Revival (not something you’ll find in the pages of McAlester, if so). And, I mean, those details! Before you get too concerned, the side facade is relatively humble in comparison (see third photo, below).

Francis J. Dewes, born in 1845, was one of a number of wealthy German immigrants to build mansions in Lincoln Park. He was the son of a brewer (and member of the first German parliament of 1848) and took up the brewing, himself. Dewes became a bookkkeeper in Chicago in 1868, first for Rehm & Bartholomae, then for Busch & Brand. He later started his own brewery and married Hattie Busch.

Sources and further reading:

This report is old (Dewes was still alive when it was written!), but it is so good.

The Dewes House was recently for sale, which mearns there are interior photographs available! Yes, the interior is just as gaudy as the exterior.

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2 thoughts on “Building Feature: Francis J. Dewes House, Chicago

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