2018 Christmas in Riverside – Neighborhood

Date: December 22, 2018

After Santa came through the neighborhood with the North Riverside Fire Department we had a quiet morning and lunch. We played the card game “Oh Snap” with Jurgen and then Chutes and Ladders with Jurgen and Cornelius.

After lunch Cornelius went down for his nap and Carla and I decided to take a walk. Usually we walk separately with one of us staying back to play with the grandkids so Andrew and Henriët can catch up on sleep, rehearse, do chores or whatever. But Carla and I wanted some quiet time together so we headed out. As you know I usually stop at the Riverside depot for train pictures; but today I followed Carla on one of her routes roughly paralleling the Des Plaines River.

Riverside Garage is tucked into a cul de sac just north of the train tracks. I’ve always liked the look of this building. It seems to do good business; there are always cars inside and out.

Riverside Garage. Riverside, IL

Riverside has plenty of big, stately homes and it’s fun to take them in. By big I mean houses with statues outside.

Big house with horse statues. Riverside, IL

I liked this sculpture a bit more.

Lawn sculpture. Riverside, IL

Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked around Chicago; as a result there are houses and building scattered around. A few years ago (a few? Try 2011) we toured Wright’s home in Oak Park and some of his other buildings. The church Andrew and Henriët are members of was designed by FLW; it underwent a huge renovation which finished a couple of years ago. So, it’s not surprising to find a Frank Lloyd Wright house here and there throughout the villages. Sure enough, Riverside boasts at least one.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed building in Riverside, IL

Some of the characteristics of Frank Lloyd Wright houses are large central chimneys, hidden entrances, very horizontal lines, and large screens of windows. As objects to look at they are nice; but they seem cold and impersonal to me.

In 2014 we toured the Gordon House in Silverton, Oregon. As with the Riverside house I appreciated the lines but it didn’t seem like a practical place to live. Wright certainly wasn’t a user friendly architect. He told people what the house was going to look like, how it would be built, and how it should be decorated. It rains on the west side of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon; the owners wanted a garage. Nope. That would disrupt the flow. Rain gutters? Again, Nope. The interiors just seemed so sterile. Not my thing.

The Riverside house has a garage; I think – not sure – it was added later. You can see the driveway doesn’t line up perfectly. Here’s a shot without the garage.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. Riverside, IL

We enjoyed the Christmas decorations on our walk. We saw a unique take on Santa. The big tree in the front yard muddies up the picture a bit.

As we finished the loop we got to a path along the Des Plaines River. Although they aren’t evident in this photo, there were quite a few people out on this cold but clear day.

Walking Path Along the Des Plaines River – Riverside, IL

As we got back to downtown the sun lit up the old water tower beautifully.

Riverside’s Water Tower in the Winter Sun

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