The building was designed by former University of Illinois architecture professor Jack Baker in 1964 for his wife Margaret Erlanger. His primary intentions were create an accommodating space for Margaret to dance in while also maintaining a comfortable and livable environment. To achieve this goal, they worked closely throughout the design and building process. The result is a magnificent building with spacious areas, hard wood floors, and large narrow windows to let light in but still maintain privacy. They happily lived there together until her death in 1975. Following her death, Jack donated the building to the University of Illinois. The Erlanger house is located near Carle Park in Urbana, Illinois and is now owned and operated by the School of Architecture.
BUILDING DESIGN INTENTIONS
Margaret Erlanger lived in the Erlanger House until her death in 1975. Some of the many features of the Erlanger House are spacious rooms and high ceilings. These are intended for dance performances, hence Margaret Erlanger’s role in constructing the University’s Department of Dance. After her death, she granted her house to the University and the School of Architecture. The Erlanger house is now used to hold receptions for visiting artists or scholars.
BUILDING TYPE + PROGRAM
The Erlanger House is considered a residential building type.
FIRM PHILOSOPHY / HISTORY
Jack Sherman Baker earned his bachelor degree of architecture at the University of Illinois with honors in 1943. In 1947 to 1949 Baker worked to earn his MArch at the University of Illinois. From 1950 to 1990 he was a professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture at U of I. Jack Sherman Baker has received several honors and awards throughout his career. In 1955 he received a Recipient Certificate for Dedicated and Distinguished Voluntary Services from the National American Institute of Architects Commission on Environment and Design. Sherman was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1977. The year from 1981 to 1982 he was recognized by the Champaign County Arts and Humanity Council for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Humanities. Jack Sherman Baker was deemed the International Man of the Year for Services to Excellence in Architecture Education and Practice by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England from 1991 to 1992
• Baker Studio-Perfromance Loft- Champaign, Illinois 1973
• Hessel Park Christian Reformed Church- Champaign, Illinois 1984