Hall of the Ragdale home view three of the six windows separating the front hall from the dining room



Hall of the Ragdale home view three of the six windows separating the front hall from the dining room


This photograph from the period prior to 1976 and after ca. 1940-42, shows the relationship between the three main public spaces of the Ragdale house: the east side longitudinal gallery or hall, the living room facing south, and the dining room facing west. As was typical in Country Place Era chicago suburban houses, the kitchen was on the northwest, the first space to be hit by the prevailing winter blast of wind from that direction. Even in the spring and fall the kitchen, being heated by the stoves, etc., would protect the rest of the house from inclement weather and cold snaps.

At the far south end, on the south wall of the by this time paneled living room, is seen a tapestry. Later hangings here varied. Over the door into the living room is the rear panel of a gondola form Venice, brought back from a summer's travels by Shaw's parents. On the right of the doorway, just inside the living room, is the small table also seen in the living room image. On the partially transparent wall to the dining room, right, and allowing a glimpse of the vista west over the prairie through the room, is a shelf for candle sticks. This is just below the windows, and dates form the days before electricity in the house, when members of the family, etc. could grab a candle to help them find their way up the stairs to the second floor bedrooms, on the north east of this hall or gallery.

The carpet runners, Oriental or Western Asian, reflect later nineteenth century anti-industrial values. These hand-woven carpets, no two alike, represented resistance to the flood of mass-produced household goods of the Victorian era. The idea of introducing Turkey carpets into modern homes was highlighted in "Hints on Household Taste" by Englishman Charles Eastlake, Jr., reprinted in this country in the 1870s.

Arthur H. Miller February 24, 2011


Ragdale Scrapbook, page 139


Ragdale Scrapbook


ca. late 1940s (pre 1976).


Ragdale Scrapbook (Lake Forest College)









Original Format

Black and white

Physical Dimensions

7 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches

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