Redcrest, 345 Elm Street, Canton, Fulton County, IL
2001 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Third Place
Significance: Redcrest, the U.G. Orendorff House is located in the Town of Canton...Canton established itself early as an industrial producer because of its abundant supply of coal along with its accessibility to the river and Chicago-based rail transport...U.G Orendorff was a wealthy businessman and philanthropist born in Canton in 1865. His father, William, was a founding partner of Parlin & Orendorff. Through social connections in Chicago, or perhaps simply the growing popularity of the Prairie School in the midwest, Robert Spencer was chosen as the architect for U.G. and his wife Daisy's house. Known as Redcrest, the house was begun in March 1902 on a large tract of land on Canton's west side. Robert Spencer was an architect affiliated with the Prairie School by the location of his private practice in Steinway Hall in Chicago, among such contemporary greats as Frank Lloyd Wright. This progressive group of architects followed the ideals and teachings of Louis M. Sullivan and strove to create a new architectural expression unique to the midwest. Like many Prairie School architects, Spencers main commissions were large residences. His first significant house was the Stanley Grefe house in Evanston, Illinois of 1894, which was clearly influenced by English Tudor architecture. With every new project Spencer abstracted English Tudor details further, using timber framing as a geometric skin rather than a structural system. Redcrest, the U.G. Orendorff House, was his first project where his abstracted style was fully developed into part of a Prairie School composition. This composition includes the Carriage House, with similar design characteristics to the main house. A landscape plan was designed and implemented by O. C. Simmons, a premier Prairie School landscape architect and pioneer of the midwestern movement in landscape architecture...
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N602
Survey number: HABS IL-1209
Building/structure dates: 1902 Initial Construction