Monday, February 20, 2012

Jennings, architect of 833 Madison, Evanston

"During the ten years from 1880 to 1890, the firm of Edbrooke and Burnham put up quite a number of houses in Evanston. It was the period of the "Queen Anne" in architecture. Probably the residence of Dr. Al. C. Bragdon, 1709 Chicago Avenue, is as typical of this period as any other.

"Now began building on a large scale by many architects of all degrees of ability. About the time that Architect Lyons sought other fields for his genius, Mr. S. A. Jennings began the practice of architecture here on a small scale, but Evanston was growing fast and, through the force of circumstances, he became the busy architect from 1885 to 1895. During that time he designed several hundred buildings for all purposes and of all sizes and varying cost, but all in one style. A critic who has seen two or three of his houses can recognize his hand in all the others, and there is hardly a block in the entire city where he has not left his mark. There is no doubt he designed more Evanston buildings than any other one man before or since. The substantial homes of J. W. Low, 1560 Oak Avenue, and Timothy Dwight, 730 Hinman Avenue, are typical "Jennings" houses. Perhaps the most expensive of his houses was the W. H. Jones house, 1232 Ridge avenue, now owned by W. H. Redington."[1]

Jennings also architect of St. Mary's Church, Evanston

"By the late 1880's, the congregation of St. Mary's had outgrown its twenty-year-old frame church. In 1890, it was evident that a larger church edifice was needed and it was then decided to build our present stone church. In the following year, 1891, the old frame building was moved to the rear of the lot, turned around, veneered with brick, and remodeled into a school. The cornerstone of the new church was laid on May 3, 1891. The church opened for worship and was dedicated in May 15, 1892 by Archbishop Feehan. It was built by Michael Foley, one of the parishioners of St. Mary's. It is constructed from Ashlar limestone and the two 100-foot-tall spires of the church were copied from St. Patrick's Church in Philadelphia. The architect was Stephen A. Jennings, who had designed many picturesque homes in Evanston."[2]

[1] Encyclopedia of Illinois, Vol 2, page 41.
[2] St. Mary's Church, Evanston website, accessed February 11, 2012

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