The Newman Triplets
by: chicago designslinger
[Gustav R. Newman Residence, 2430 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
When you look at these three houses sitting side-by-side on Orchard Street, there is something about them that looks very much the same yet different.
[Charles Newman Residence, 2424 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
They were designed in 1895 by architect John Van Osdel II for the Newman brothers - Charles, Gustav and John – proprietors of the Newman Brothers Piano Company, and built, all at the same time, on three adjoining lots. While Van Osdel matched the design of each exterior, he changed the kind of stone used to face each house front. Perhaps this was Van Osdel’s way to reflect the fact that while these three structures and their owners were related, the houses, like the brothers, had different personalities.
[John Newman Residence, 2434 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
By 1910, Gustav and John were dead and Charles’s nephews, and his brother’s heirs, ousted him as president of the company. According to Mrs. Gustav, the nephews “feared that their uncle would close up the business and not do the right thing by the boys.” So although personal harmony between the houses of the Newman clan didn’t last that long, Van Osdel’s harmonious Chateauesque design have survived the test of time.