A Visit to the Garden of Eden – Part 2: Interior

While not as exuberantly weird as the exterior, the interior of  S. P. Dinsmoor’s house is still a bit quirky.  The most memorable bit of quirkiness is the woodwork – especially that of the main floor.  Comprised of stock moldings and scraps, much of the woodwork looks sort of normal at first glance, but under closer scrutiny looks a bit unconventional (due to unusual or awkward transitions).  Second floor woodwork, for the most part, appears very ordinary for the early 20th century, though it is buried under white paint.  Basement trim is again more conventional, though some of it was formed with cement (painted red).

The white walls are a bit stark for the period; I don’t know how the walls were finished originally.  Enjoy!

One of two entry doors from the front porch.

 

An original light fixture.

 

Delightfully busy molding combinations!

 

The mantelpiece appears to be of the catalog variety common at the turn of the century.  Update: Lara Solonickne of Sears Homes of Chicagoland has identified it as Mantel No. 263 from an early Sears Roebuck catalog.

 

Unusual transitions are seen where the baseboard meets the door casing.

 

“It’s waste that makes people poor.” – S. P. Dinsmoor       Note the mitred crown and scraps used to heighten the door.

 

An original light fixture in a hallway.

 

Linoleum in entry hall.

 

Slightly newer linoleum… 1930’s perhaps?

 

One of several pieces of furniture that Mr. Dinsmoor made for the house.

 

Another of his tables.

 

The roof form adds variety to the ceilings on the second floor.

 

The bathroom as seen from the hallway.   The linoleum appears to be original.

 

An unusually constructed balustrade leads to the basement.

 

The stair ends in winders.

 

The handrail and newel flow together.

 

The door beneath the stair.

 

Storm cellar and food storage.

 

Another of Mr. Dinsmoor’s creations.

 

The dining room with steps leading to the side yard.

 

6 Responses to A Visit to the Garden of Eden – Part 2: Interior

    • WOW!!! What a great find (and a great memory)! Your discovery really underscores the importance and influence of mail-order catalogs to growing rural areas at the time this house was built. What fun to know that Sears had a role in this most unique house… thanks so much for finding this!

  1. What a great place. Wonderfully creative. I respect people that simply get things done, without much thought for convention, and get on with their own vision. What a lot of drive this guy must have had. Door doesn’t quite fit, simply add wood until it does. His use of alternating light and dark wood creates a lot of cool visual effect.

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