James O’Leary Mansion, Chicago

James O’Leary Mansion     

     The O’Leary mansion is located at 726 West Garfield Boulevard in Chicago.  It was built by James O’Leary for his mother.  It was built in 1890.  The architect was Zachary Taylor Davis.  It is a brownstone.  Style is Renaissance Revival. 

    The building has 4 stories.  Ceilings are 12 feet high.  There are 63,000 square feet of space.  There are 12 bedrooms, 5 and one half baths.  Room total is 33.  There are 2 large walk in vaults.  There are 3 fireplaces.  There is a 2 story coach house.   The mansion is currently for sale.

James O’Leary Mansion

James O’Leary Mansion

     James O’Leary was the son of Catherine O’Leary.  He was known as the Gambling King of the Stock yards.  He opened what was called a resort at 4185 S. Halsted.  This was across the Main Gate of the Stock yards.  This resort included a salon, A bowling alley, billiards parlor, Turkish Baths, and a gambling establishment.  In addition to this, he had a gambling operation in DuPage County, a gambling ship city of Traverse, the Luna Park Amusement Park and Ballroom.

Rear Wall Mansion

Stairway Mansion

Ralph Twitchell.  (1890–1978)

Ralph Twitchell was an architect who was considered the founding father of the Sarasota School of Architecture. He bridged his traditional architecture of the 1920’s with his modernist designs of the 1940’s.

He was born.in Mansfield, Ohio on July 27, 1890. His family relocated to Florida He first enrolled in Rollins College. In 1910, he transferred to McGill University in Montreal. In 1912, he transferred to Columbia University in New York. He served in the army in World War I from 1917-1919. He resumed his studies at Columbia. He received a BA in architecture in 1920. He received a MA in architecture in 1921

Ralph Twitchell

     Twitchwell returned to Sarasota in 1925.  He was a representative of New York Architect Dwight James Baum.  He managed the final of stages of construction of Ca  d’Zan–John Ringling’s Venetian Style Mansion on Sarasota Bay.  After this project, he purchased 13 lots in the Ravellan Gardens neighborhood of Sarasota.   He designed Mediterranean style homes for these lots.  In 1926, the project tanked.   He relocated to the Northeast.

     Twitchell relocated to Sarasota in 1936.    He opened his architectural and building firm Associate Builders.  His earliest commissions were a Sierra Key Residence and the Lido Beach Casino.  At this time, we experimented with reinforced concrete and glass.

     In 1938, the American Institute of  Architects revoked Twitchell’s license.  Reason: his owner of a construction company.

     In the summer of 1941, Twitchell hired Paul Rudolph as an associate.  Rudolph worked here between the end of his studies at Alabama Polytechnic Institute and the beginning of his graduate studies at Harvard University Graduate school of Design.   During this time, the two architects collaborated on multiple projects.

     Rudolph returned to the Twitchell practice in 1947 and stayed until 1951.  Rudolph’s focus was on structure; Twitchell on construction details.  During this period, the two architects collaborated on many ground breaking private residences including: Miller House and Guest Cottage (1947), Revere Quality House (1948), the Lamolithic Houses (1948), Healey Guest House, Cocoon House (1950) and the Leavengood Residence (1951).

     Twitchwell and Rudolph separated in 1951.  Between 1951-53, Twitchell partnered with Jack West.  Between 1959 and 1965, he partnered with his son Too by Jules Twitchell.  He died in Sarasota in 1978.

Glass House by Philip Johnson

Glass House by Philip Johnson

Same as above

     The glass house is a historic house/museum in New Canaan, Connecticut.  The architect was Philip Johnson.  He spent 3 years developing the design.  His inspiration was the Farnsworth home in Plano, Illinois.  This was designed by Mies Van Der Rohe.  The Glass House was built in 1948-9.

     The Glass House was a modern style building.  It is 56 feet long; 32 feet in width; 10 1/2 feet high. The kitchen, dining and sleeping areas are in one glass enclosed room.  The interior open space is subdivided by low walnut cabinets.   A brick cylinder encloses the bathroom.

Brick House Served as the Guest House

     The exterior walls are charcoal painted steel and glass.  The entire estate was 47 acres;later expanded to 200 acres.  In addition to the Glass House are multiple modernistic structures added over many years.

Entrance to Painting Gallery

    In addition to the Glass House, the estate included multiple modernist buildings.  1. Brick House.  Built 1949–52.  Served as a guest house.  2 Pavilion.  Built in 1962.  3. Painting Gallery.  Built 1965.  4 Sculpture Gallery.  Built in 1970.  5.  Study.  Built in 1980.  6. Ghost House.  Built in 1982. 7. Kirsten Tower. Built in 1985. 8. Gate House a.k.a dam an star.  Built in 1995.

     Building listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 2/18/1997.

Da Monstra

The Study

     Upon Philip Johnson’s death, the estate passed to the ownership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The estate opened for visitors on April, 2007.

Luminary Hotel Fort Myers

Luminary Hotel, Fort Myers

Luminary Hotel, Fort Myers

The new Luminary Hotel at 2200 Edwards Drive in Fort Myers officially opened on September 23, 2020. The new Hotel is located in downtown area overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. The Building has 12 floors. There are 243 rooms.

Current food and beverage outlets include: Ella Maes’s Diner, Dean Street Coffee and the Lobby Bar. To open in the future Signature Silver King Ocean Brassiere, Beacon Social Drinking Rootop Lounge.

Other features include The Workshop an innovative culinary lab, an indoor outdoor fitness facility pool and pool are on the fourth floor

Sarasota School of Architecture

Riverview High School (Paul Rudolph, Architect)

Sarasota High School (Paul Rudolph, architect)

Hiss Studio, Tim Seibert, architect)

Bay Plaza (Seibert, architect)

Umbrella House (Rudolph, architect)

Siesta Key Beach Pavilion (Seibert, Architect)

Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church (Lundy, architect)

Sarasota City Hall (West, architect)

Nokomis Beach Pavilion (West, architect)

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Manatee (West, architect)

81 Cocoanut (Seibert, architect)

Healy Guest House (Twitchell and Rudolph,architects)

Warm Mineral Springs Motel (Lundy architect)

The Sarasota School of Architecture was also known as Sarasota Modern. It occurred after World War 2 (1941–1966). It was located in Florida’s central west coast around Sarasota.

Members of the Sarasota School of Architecture included: Ralph Twitchell, considered the founder and his partner Paul Rudolph. These two men were architects of the Twitchell House, Healey Guest House, and Revere Quality House.) Other members included Gene Leedy (Garcia Residence), Tim Seibert (Hiss Studio, Seista Key Pavilion, Bayport Beach and Tennis Club, Bay Plaza, Cocoanut), Jack West (Nokomis Beach Pavilion, Sarasota City Hall, First Federal Savings and Loan Manatee), Victor Lundy (Warm Mineral Springs, Motel, Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church), William Rupp (McCulloch Pavillion, Riverview High School Umbrella House), Carl Abbott.

Warm Mineral Springs Motel

Warm Mineral Springs Motel

The Warm Mineral Springs Motel is located at 12597 S. Tamiami Trail North Port, Florida. It was built in 1958. The architect was Victor Lundy. He was a member of the Sarasota school of Architecture

Same as above

There are 28 rooms. There is an office. The pool was added in 1950. The building is known for a mushroom shaped champagne glass style roof and glass walls

Motel Office

Motel Office Sign


Motel rooms

Motel Room

Motel rooms


Map of Germania

In the early 1900’s, Howard Street was the northern border of Chicago from the Lake west. Germania was an area of Evanston geographically. Its borders were the l tracks to the west Calvary Cemetery to the north and and Lake Michigan to the east. It received its name due to its German population.

The residents of Germania felt disconnected to Evanston. They sought sewer services and electricity. In the early 1900’s, the area seceded from Evanston and was annexed to Chicago. Much of the original housing persists. There are low rise apartments, 6 flats, and single family homes.