Charles Vallette Kasson House
by: chicago designslinger
[Charles Vallette Kasson House (1891) Pond & Pond, architects /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Irving K. and Allen B. Pond were brothers, business partners and architects who didn't fit easily into a defined style of architecture. They were Chicagoans, and practiced during the height of the first period of the historic Chicago School era and did a lot of building during the Prairie School years. And while you can find hints of both in their work, it doesn't exactly conform to either genre.
[C. Vallette Kasson House, 1442 N. Astor Street, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
The brothers had a productive professional career, Irving once served as president of the American Institute of Architects. And although the house they designed for Charles Vallette Kasson in 1891 isn't one of their more renowned projects, it stands out from other Astor Street houses of the era because of its relatively simple, straightforward approach, which stood in stark contrast to most of its neighbors. In the 1930s the house next door was demolished and the rusticated stone base was extended across a new facade, fronting an addition that increased the size of the original living room.
[Charles V. Kasson House, Gold Coast National Historic District, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Irving and Allen's largest single project began with the pioneering work of social activist Jane Addams settlement movement. The brothers designed their first building for Addams' Hull House in 1890, and by 1908 designed a complex that had grown to include 10 buildings surrounding the old Hull mansion. Unfortunately when the University of Illinois built their Chicago campus in the 1960s, everything but the mansion and Pond and Pond's dining hall were demolished. Allen died on March 17, 1929 and Irving got married on June 11, 1929 at the age of 72. The brothers grew up together, went to school together, became architect's together, worked together, lived together, never married, and for the first time in his life Irving was alone, without his closest companion. But he went on to design more buildings, was as irascible as ever, and lived a full life until he was reunited with his brother ten years later.