Gazette Article by: Cindy Fuller
Appeared in the Gazette: Winter 1994
House of the Season: House Speaks Clearly of Graceful Past
They say the walls of a house speak. At 822 Bryant the walls speak clearly of a graceful march through the first 93 years of its life.
Architecturally, 822 Bryant is considered a “shingle style” house; however, the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement is predominant. Architect Augustus Higginson was closely involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement in Chicago.
The Movement began in England in the late 1860’s and promoted a philosophy that stressed the importance of handcrafted objects made of natural materials. The movement, a reaction to the excessive decoration of Victorian architecture, spread quickly in the United States. Chicago was at the forefront of the movement. The Chicago Arts and Crafts Society was created in 1897 at Hull House. Among those who attended its first meeting were Winnetkans Henry Demarest Lloyd (830 Sheridan Road) and Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Higginson. Edwin S. Fechheimer (who later changed his name to Fetcher) came to Chicago from Harvard University to work with the Winslow Brothers Ornamental Iron Company. Mr. Fetcher hired Higginson to design the house, which was completed in 1901-02. The wood-paneled living room with its beamed cathedral ceiling is virtually unchanged today, and the large fireplace still contains the original andirons crafted by the Winslow Brothers Company.
The house remained in the Fetcher family until 1954. The current owners have compiled extensive research on the house that has guided their very faithful renovation. 822 Bryant is a gracious reminder of the living history we encounter throughout our village.