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Cottage linked to Frank Lloyd Wright midway through dismantlement

A small cottage in Wilmette designed by Rudolph Schindler and linked to Frank Lloyd Wright was midway through the dismantlement process by May 24. Joseph Catrambone, an Oak Brook-based contractor and real estate manager, saved the cottage from demolition earlier this month when he agreed to move it temporarily to a storage container before it can be pieced back together in Wauconda. The cottage, along with a John Van Bergen-designed Prairie School house next door, were purchased in April by developer George Hausen. He originally intended to raze them both and build new homes on the properties. When preservationists objected, Hausen agreed to donate the tiny cottage and market the larger home next door for four months before going ahead with his original plan. The 594-square-foot Prairie-style cottage at 1320 Isabella St. was designed in 1920 by the Austrian-born Schindler, who ran Wright’s Oak Park studio at the time, according to records. Schindler would later move to the Los Angeles area and earn fame and acclaim for his modernist designs. Catrambone read about the cottage and his plan to remove it was selected by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. By midday May 24, the tiny cottage was mostly gutted. Catrambone hopes to have it reconstructed by this time next year, where his family will use it. He is also planning to rent it “on a limited basis” to Wright and Schindler aficionados to help cover the project costs, which he expects to near $50,000. Click here for an earlier story.

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