Remember those cheesy old TV commercials from the 1970’s and 80’s? Pushing things like the Pocket Fisherman and the Veg-o-Matic? One of the mainstays of bad TV in that era were commercials for “Hair Club for Men.” The spokesperson always ended those commercials with the stunner, “I’m not only the president. I’m also a client.” That kind of personal testimonial was very powerful for a lot of people.
There is a different kind of president/client testimonial in the Lake View neighborhood. The Henry Rohkam House at 1048 West Oakdale Avenue is a magnificent building. But more than that — it’s also a catalog.
Theodore Karls designed the home for Rohkam in order to showcase the goods on offer from the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company. I don’t have the vocabulary to adequately describe all the bits and pieces that festoon the building, so take a look at the pictures below, and think of it as leafing through a catalog of architectural accents.