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Building Conservation Associates

Bach House

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Year Built: 1915
Original Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright

The Bach House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Emil Bach, owner of the Bach Brick Company, and built in 1915. The house is one of Wright’s last small urban commissions and is one of only a few Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the City of Chicago. The simple and compact house is “semi-cubist” in design. The geometry of the design is accentuated by the placement of specific materials as well as colors on the exterior, making the material choice and color palette an important part of Wright’s original vision for the building.

BCA investigated the building’s original exterior and interior materials to guide its restoration. BCA examined the building’s stucco, mortar, concrete, and paint finishes, documenting the composition of each material and comparing it to what had been originally specified by Wright. Through this research, BCA documented that the house’s exterior woodwork had originally been painted with a red-brown pigmented oil stain and that the house’s interior textured plaster was painted with a thinly-applied warm yellow oil paint. Recommendations were also made for replication stucco and mortar mixes based on the findings of the research.