101 ELY PL. | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

101 ELY PL.

Architecture and History Inventory
101 ELY PL. | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Anna and Edward W. Morehouse House
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:100000
Location (Address):101 ELY PL.
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1937
Survey Date:1972
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:International Style
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stucco
Architect: George Fred Keck
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: University Heights Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/17/1982
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Madison Historic Landmark: 1/7/1974.

The Edward and Anna Morehouse House, completed in 1937, reflects the Chicago architect George Frederick Keck’s interest in the International Style. Keck, who established his practice in 1926, was a founder of the "new Bauhaus" in Chicago and a major proponent of avant-garde architecture in the United States. He designed the House of Tomorrow and the Crystal House at Chicago's Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933-1934. For the Morehouses, Keck created a simple cube with a flat roof, thereby emphasizing volume, not mass. The cube is enclosed by a thin, undecorated stucco skin. Windows set in vertical bands with minimal exterior trim form contrasting stripes against the light (originally white) background. The effect is to make the house into an abstract study of geometric and linear relationships, a strong reference to the De Stijl movement in art.

"One of the last lots to be built, ironically almost adjacent to the first, was owned by Public Service Commission official Edward Morehouse. Morehouse commissioned a successful young Chicago architect, George Fred Keck, to design a dwelling for him and his wife, Anna Ely Morehouse (the daughter of Richard T. Ely, 205 N. Prospect). Keck had begun his career in the arts as a watercolorist, but he also had a degree in engineering. Befriended in Chicago by Bauhaus giants, Mies van der Rohe and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the young painter was steered toward architecture. He designed a number of houses for the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago in 1933-34 and turned more and more to the simple linear forms of the "International Style" in the years following the fair. This particular residence is a personal statement in the International style. It originally was to have exterior mechanical louvred shutters, but these were never executed." Madison Landmarks Commission, University Heights: A Walk Through A Turn of the Century Suburb, n.d.
Bibliographic References:Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript. Madison Landmarks Commission and the Regent Neighborhood Association, The University Heights Historic District: A Walking Tour, 1987 Perrin, Richard W. E., Historic Wisconsin Architecture, First Revised Edition (Milwaukee, 1976). A Celebration of Architecture: Wisconsin Society of Architects Tour of Significant Architecture, 1979. Madison Landmarks Commission, University Heights: A Walk Through A Turn of the Century Suburb, n.d.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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