111111 2A2A2A 434343 747474 8E8E8E B6B6B6 CFCFCF E9E9E9

Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Crab Tree Farm

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 28 December 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Taken from the Crab Tree Farm website:

At the turn of the twentieth century, the property we know today as Crab Tree Farm was part of a 370-acre dairy farm, owned by the eminent Illinois federal district judge and railroad president Henry W. Blodgett, who created the system that became the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in 1863. In 1905 Scott Sloan Durand (1869–1949), founder of S. S. Durand and Co., a Chicago sugar brokerage, purchased 250 acres of Blodgett’s land on Lake Michigan just north of the village of Lake Bluff, Illinois, and presented them to his wife, Grace Durand (1867–1948). Educated with agricultural training, she had founded a burgeoning commercial business, Crab Tree Dairy, on twenty acres in the residential village of Lake Forest. There, Durand kept her prize herd of Guernsey cows, but escaped animals and the aroma of farm life were a constant source of irritation to neighbors, and the Durands determined that they must relocate to the former Blodgett property.

In 1910, less than five years after they had moved, a fire destroyed the original farm buildings, and that event prompted Grace Durand to commission noted Chicago architect Solon Spencer Beman (1853–1914), who is perhaps best known for his design of Pullman Village (1880–84) on Chicago’s far south side, to develop plans for a modern facility for her operation. The result was the assembly of buildings that survives today as Crab Tree Farm.

Beman, who trained in New York and had come to the Chicago area with the promise of work after the city’s devastating 1871 fire, created a massive central barn surmounted by a clock tower. It is flanked by four additional buildings and a pair of silos. Arranged around a central court and reflecting pool, the structures provide approximately 20,000 square feet of interior space.

The buildings were constructed to be fireproof, with steel framing and walls of terracotta blocks, finished with concrete and white stucco. The roofs were cast from concrete to resemble terracotta tiles. The buildings were provided with electric lights, water, refrigeration, and ventilation. Their somewhat eclectic style has been referred to as “California Mission,” “South African,” and “Scandinavian.”

In 1912–13 the noted landscape architect Jens Jensen developed plans for fruit, flower, and vegetable gardens and orchards. Only parts of his plan were executed.

In 1926 William McCormick Blair (1884–1982) and his wife, Helen Bowen Blair (1890–1972), purchased from the Durands eleven acres of farmland overlooking Lake Michigan and commissioned architect David Adler (1882–1949) to design a summer home. In 1948, after Grace Durand died, the dairy ceased operations. Over the next decade, the Blairs purchased the rest of the farm.

In 1985 the Blair estate sold the farm buildings and most of the farmland to Mr. and Mrs. John H. Bryan, who had, the previous year, purchased the Blairs’ summer residence on the lake. Today Crab Tree Farm is home to cattle, horses, sheep, chickens, and turkeys. Crops have included hay, corn, and soybeans. The original Beman buildings have undergone extensive renovation and display collections of furniture and decorative arts from the American and English Arts and Crafts movement, as well as contemporary furniture.

Photo taken December 27, 2009.

SONY DSLR-A300 1/321 second F/10.0 ISO 100 20 mm

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.

Spotlight Images

zOOm from Paris, France

A great story to illustrate this powerful mono HDR.

28 Dec 2009 9:19am

Peter from Amsterdam, Netherlands

A picture postcard in B&W, the HDR gives it even more depth.

28 Dec 2009 10:02am

Theys from Charleroi, Belgium

Steven, a large composition for this BW, Hello beautiful!

28 Dec 2009 11:25am

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Nice composition and B&W HDR

28 Dec 2009 12:37pm

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

Nice perspective. The vignetting works nicely here to keep the focus on the subject.

28 Dec 2009 12:39pm

Denise from Duncannon, United States

So nice to know this is still an operational farm. What a lovely photo.

28 Dec 2009 2:41pm

Barbara from Florida, United States

Beautiful winter scene, I like the POV and perspective you've captured. Thoroughly enjoyed the background history of the area.

28 Dec 2009 3:02pm

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

This is absolutely gorgeous. There seems to be a real presence in this frame.

28 Dec 2009 3:04pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Superb, Steven. I love this!

28 Dec 2009 5:55pm

k@ from Paris, France

A delicious scenery*

28 Dec 2009 6:31pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

beautiful scenery . great light and super monochrome .

28 Dec 2009 6:59pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A wonderful snowy farm vista! Great work!

28 Dec 2009 6:59pm

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Lovely scene with wonderful contrasts!

28 Dec 2009 7:16pm

Claudia from Illinois, United States

Wonderful image and some local history I was unaware of till now!

28 Dec 2009 9:07pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

I'm learning a lot about my own back yard watching you. Is this HDR black and white style? It definitely holds a mood.

28 Dec 2009 11:52pm

@Self-Indulgence: Yes. Jack has convinced me to try HDR processing in B &W.

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

a lovely locale -- beautiful with the snow!

29 Dec 2009 5:36pm

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Wow.. what a fantastic BnW shot.. love it.

30 Dec 2009 12:04am