Kahn's understated house is staunchly but serenely modern—flat roof, no additive ornament, different functions expressed by window sizes and shapes—while being very much a part of the Chestnut Hill palette of materials and color with its natural stucco walls and wood trim. There is a bit of Japanese influence as well in its spare rectangularity and planarity and top-lighted rooms. The Esherick house was being designed for the niece of the famous wood craftsman Wharton Esherick ( CH38) just at the moment when Robert Venturi was beginning his mother's house ( PH190) for a site just down the street, providing a handy reference to the evolution of that masterpiece by the younger architect. Kahn's parti of a slightly off-center door in a recess flanked by the living room on one side and the kitchen and services on the other is conservative as well, a central-hall colonial in modern garb. Large windows on the far side provide views of Pastorius Park; the projecting firebox of the living room fireplace with its freestanding chimney permits a window above the fireplace, a motif that became something of a cliché in the works of the Kahn followers of the 1970s and 1980s.
You are here
Margaret Esherick House
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.