The Lang House and the Emil Bach House

What started as a hobby for one couple from North Carolina translated into a move westward to Chicago, where their passion for hospitality has become their full-time profession. Bruce Boyd and Wayde Cartwright are the co-owners and innkeepers at the Lang House Bed & Breakfast located at 7421 N. Sheridan Rd.

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The painting over the mantle of the fireplace in the parlor of the Lang house is by Alphonse Mucha, the internationally famous Czech Art Nouveau painter.

Before the Lang House became a bed-and-breakfast, it was a private residence for a number of families. The home was built in 1919. There were no high-rise buildings or apartment buildings on the lots between the mansion and the lakefront, and the families enjoyed a view of Lake Michigan. Its architect was Edgar M. Newman. Early in his career, Newman worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at the renowned Chicago architectural firm of Adler and Sullivan. He was closely associated with the Prairie School and Arts and Crafts schools of architecture.

The dining room at the Lang House

The dining room at the Lang House

During World War II, Mundelein College used the mansion as a dormitory before the all-female Roman Catholic college merged with Loyola University Chicago. The basement also housed the budding operations of a local radio station.

Bruce and Wayde also manage the Emil Bach House next door. It is available as a vacation and events rental. The Emil Bach House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1915 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Side by side, the two homes are very complimentary. Wright’s heavy influence on Newman’s design of the Lang House reflects in various details of the home, including the style and pattern of the stained glass windows.

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The Emil Bach House. Next door is the Lang House

On a side note, Emil Bach and his brother made their fortune manufacturing bricks in Chicago.  Wright did not use a single Bach brick in his house.  In addition, the budget for the house was $5,000.  When Wright was done, the house cost over $11,000.  Bach was less than pleased!

Bruce took us on a delightful tour (John called it “the 75 cent tour”) of the Bach House which is one of the homes Wright designed after his 1911 return from Europe. The home is part of a series of geometric, cubic homes with overhanging, flat roofs designed by Wright in the early 20th century. The Bach House is one of the only remaining homes of this style. The WOW factor cannot be overestimated!

I hope Bruce and Wayde decide to hire us. I am a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. I would like the bragging rights with the other docents!

Catherine Lamb

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