With its cone-roofed corner tower and wrap-around veranda, the grand Queen Anne Kretschmar House beautifully exemplifies the late phase of this Victorian style. Skillful proportioning tempers the building’s imposing volume. The facade is dominated by a single gable, the shingling is a fish-scale pattern, and plain Tuscan porch columns supplant the usual spindlework. Houses like Kretschmar’s helped establish Layton Boulevard as the near South Side’s most prestigious residential thoroughfare, but the street never became the exclusive domain of the wealthy. Middle- and working-class citizens moved into cottages, bungalows, duplexes, and foursquare houses along the same street. Louis Kretschmar was a successful meatpacker, among the first of many South Side German American merchants and professionals to leave older, more congested neighborhoods to the east and settle along Layton Boulevard.
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Louis Kretschmar House
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