A dialog with Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry concerning the past, present, and future of their impression on Chicago-area architecture.
For the October 2018 situation of Chicago journal, I labored on a roundup of houses on the market all through the Chicago metro space designed by Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry. The piece was revealed in print and online, however much of the interview portion remained unavailable until now.
To commemorate the current passing of Stanley Tigerman, I consider that it’d be useful to share the whole thing of the dialogue, notably Tigerman reflecting on his own legacy and place in architectural history. From the dialog, it turned evident to me that Stanley was not as all for being remembered for his buildings a lot as his popularity as a instructor, mentor, and critic of structure and design — as a career and a artistic and philosophical endeavor.
A yr previous to the dialogue, the husband and spouse architects had closed their Chicago workplace and moved the follow into their condominium in order that Stanley might concentrate on his health whereas Margaret continued overseeing the agency’s tasks. At Chicago magazine, we figured it was nearly as good a time as ever to revisit their careers and highlight a number of the houses that have been obtainable available on the market at the time.
Unique Tigerman McCurry drawings and data reside on on the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries on the Art Institute of Chicago. Nevertheless, I needed to make the transcript of the “lost” Chicago magazine interview obtainable on-line for anybody fascinated with learning or exploring the careers of Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry.
LaTrace: For the October problem of Chicago journal, we thought it will be a great time to mirror in your careers and your influence on the Chicago space, and it seems like there are a few houses on the market that we needed to spotlight, together with 6292 Timberview in Lisle and 919 Hill Street in Winnetka. Definitely, totally different worth points, but each are very unique properties. Margaret, which one have been you extra concerned with?
McCurry: The bigger one. Nicely, we each have been, but I spent the bulk of 19 years on it. I seemed on the footage and clearly when the family moved out, they took a few rooms with them into their new locale, whereas leaving others. So the colorful footage are from a photo shoot that Architectural Digest did [Note: The listing photos were a mix of images from a 2005 feature and interview in Architectural Digest and newer images shot specifically for the real estate listing]. After which the rooms that aren’t professionally adorned is, I assume, the family that owns it now.
LaTrace: So, 19 years? Can you speak a bit bit about that? It’s an extended, fascinating process, however are you able to tell me just a little bit about how the method went for that specific property?
McCurry: Properly, the house was inbuilt 1929, and everyone is aware of what occurred in 1929. It obtained constructed however it never obtained finished on the interiors in any means that may then measure it with the standard of the building itself. They [the family that commissioned Tigerman McCurry] had lived in it for several years and determined that it was actually value restoring — nicely, not even restoring — we principally ended up gutting most of the rooms. They moved out for three years as we went by way of the process. The ceiling heights, if I keep in mind appropriately, have been about 9 and a half ft, which isn’t that tall for a very elegant and historic house. So there have been many tips used in the moldings to make the rooms appear greater. The molding steps in lots of tiny increments over the depths of a minimum of a foot, however only a peak of a few inches. So, there are various things like that to provide it extra character. And we changed and re-proportioned all of the home windows, we re-proportioned doors, we modified cumbersome fireplaces into extra elegant ones. It was a considerable quantity of labor, and then they moved back [in] after three years and then we tackled the interiors. A number of the furnishings was purchased in Paris. They have been very keen on each the Artwork Deco and Biedermeier durations, so you possibly can see from the images that there’s lots of Biedermeier furniture, and it’s all real. We added room and light fixtures. The whole lot was executed to a very excessive degree of quality and historic interest when it comes to the furnishings. So that’s how long it took, as a result of they have been very within the quality and in creating it.
LaTrace: And for this home in Lisle, it has a very distinctive, virtually modular look to it. Stanley, are you able to speak just a little bit about this home?
Tigerman: It was a long time in the past and my memory shouldn’t be so great.
McCurry: However you possibly can speak about it some, Stanley.
Tigerman: I imply, I really like the house. The shopper was terrific — she was an exquisite lady. Marion was the final identify.
LaTrace: The listing exhibits that it was accomplished in 1979. Does that sound about proper?
Tigerman: Yeah, however I imply, it’s 2018, so I’ll not have the ability to keep in mind a lot from 1979.
LaTrace: Properly, I assume the rationale I convey that up is because it was a real transitional interval in design and architecture with the rise of postmodernism.
Tigerman: Properly, it’s not a postmodernist home. It has a couple of moves nevertheless it’s really sort of a modern house. There have been really no decorative features or an try to connect it to history or the past or whatever. It was actually achieved for her. But that’s really all I keep in mind.
LaTrace: It seems to be like there’s a built-in on the first flooring. Was that an unique design by you for this house?
Tigerman: Yeah. It’s a type of butterfly home mix, named after a home sort across the early 1900s by Sir Edward Prior in England. And the entrance aspect is essentially opaque and the other aspect is essentially clear, with a lot of windows.
McCurry: I’m positive it was revealed and I’m positive it additionally gained an AIA award.
Tigerman: Both. It was revealed I feel in [Architectural] Digest.
LaTrace: It appears like the round corner faces the neighbors the place the window aspect faces out in the direction of that body of water. Was there a specific identify for this residence?
Tigerman: No. It was achieved because the Marion House.
McCurry: Identical to Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, the first shopper gets the identify of the house, so this one is Marion.
LaTrace: One other factor I was interested in, and be happy to say as much as you are feeling snug speaking about, however I used to be just wondering how retirement goes and the way you are feeling with having winded down the follow.
Tigerman: Properly, I imply, I have some well being issues, so plenty of my power is spent on taking good care of myself.
McCurry: The apply is wound down from Stanley’s aspect, however not essentially on my aspect. We have now a few tasks. One is underneath development and we simply finished the drawings for an additional one, so the office has simply been relocated to our flats. And we also have things the place we’re connecting with architects on a regular basis. We now have a gaggle of young architects who come to the condo each couple of months on a Sunday afternoon for a salon. We’ve had James Rondo, we’ve had Madeleine Grynsztejn, and Mark Kelly — individuals that can help younger individuals. We do what we will with mentoring as a result of they’re all good young architects with small practices, educating at all the totally different faculties of structure in the metropolis, and making an attempt to make it on their own whereas huge companies are swallowing up little companies. It’s a funny time. We have been fortunate that we had a very great run for lots of years with lots of fascinating shoppers, and it’s actually arduous watching young individuals wrestle now.
LaTrace: It looks like numerous industries are in an ebb and movement with change and notably in some industries, like media, know-how has changed things quite a bit. Would you say that perhaps your take is that attitudes in the direction of [custom] houses has changed, or the truth that perhaps youthful individuals aren’t shopping for homes as typically — or is there something particularly that involves your minds about your expertise and the modifications within the career at present?
McCurry: Properly, it’s exhausting. There are various extra architects out there. Once we started, most architects worked for bigger companies, and there have been a couple of in the metropolis — the actually well-known home architects like George Fred Keck, who Stanley labored for for a while. And Sales space and Nagle have been on the market, but they have been each Stanley’s staff. Sales space came first, then got here Nagle. After which they left and started their own follow, after which they cut up. But I feel that there are numerous more architects out there, so the competition is trickier. Additionally, I feel the climate — individuals turned frightened by what happened in 2008. You already know, life had been a bowl of cherries for a really very long time for lots of people. And now, I don’t assume there are as many [people] who need to pay for a certain high quality of work. It’s much more durable to compete in a method, because individuals are undercutting charges and issues, so architects are really struggling right now — the youthful ones — to keep a apply going. And I mean, it’s not that tough to do many various constructing varieties. The just one that’s troublesome can be, say a hospital. Some other sort you would not have needed to have achieved ten. Say a church: you don’t need to do ten churches to be a candidate for a church. And actually, you possibly can say that because I haven’t finished any, perhaps it’ll be brisker than someone that’s cranking out church buildings. But the belief issue isn’t all the time there. Similar with libraries, police stations, you identify it.
LaTrace: It’s fascinating and undoubtedly looks like if anyone has the money, it’s the hospitals right now and also you see lots of these giant international companies behind that sort of labor. You perhaps don’t hear a lot about these high profile, individually-driven residences. There’s truly one… An house I consider that was achieved by Stanley. It was a duplex Lake Shore Drive condo with a wavy staircase and it seems to be like that condo had been gutted, rehabbed, and resold in the last couple of years. When it comes to your personal legacy, there’s a growing sentiment and movement to protect a few of the stuff that was achieved in the ‘70s and ‘80s by Chicago architects. And I did see the documentary you have been in Stanley — the Helmut Jahn Thompson Middle documentary — and I used to be wondering how you are feeling personally about seeing a number of the work completed by Chicago architects corresponding to yourselves probably being threatened in the coming years?
Tigerman: Nicely, you recognize, I’ve no feeling about that. It’s what it’ll be. Buildings get torn down, or reworked badly, or defaced, and I don’t have any emotions about that. What I do — what I did — was for the shopper, not for resale. And of course, buildings come and go and things get demolished, or trashed, or changed or whatever, and I don’t have any robust chip on my shoulder or axe to grind about such things. All the things has a life. As stated in the Bible, there’s a time for this and a time for that. There’s a time to invent and a time to destroy; there’s a time for conflict and a time for peace. So buildings come and go, as do I. Every little thing modifications, and the whole lot dies and will get renewed and refurbished and life goes on. Life is all the time in a state of change.
McCurry: And the drawings all exist in perpetuity, so that’s essential too.
Tigerman: All the things is within the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, so that signifies that individuals can pour over the documents.
McCurry: And a great portion of both of our tasks are either in books that we’ve completed ourselves — I have two books which have most of my greatest homes in them. However the historic homes are in a ebook I did some years in the past.
Tigerman: I’ve acquired eight books that I did, so I imply, we’re a part of historical past. And occasions change, and I’ve no drawback with that. I settle for the details of change.