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Rockledge
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In 1912 Maher was commissioned to design a summer house in Homer, Minnesota for Ernest L. King and his wife, Grace Watkins King who was a member of the family that controlled the J. R. Watkins Company. Overlooking the Mississippi river, the 12,000 square foot house was named “Rockledge”. As part of the commission, Maher also designed the interior furnishing for the house including furniture, light fixtures, carpets, table settings, clocks, vases, seemingly everything in the house. This allowed him to use his Motif-Rhythm theory to the fullest extent possible. As ornamental motifs, Maher choose the tiger lily and the segmented arch.

After several decades the house was remodeled and the Maher designed furnishings were put into storage. Over time the house ceased to be used and was ultimately demolished. Fortunately many of the stored pieces were sold and are now in private collections and on display in museums where they are valued as examples of Arts and Crafts design.

Public interest started to turn away from the work of the Prairie School architects in the middle of the second decade of the twentieth century. Clients’s tastes and the fashion of the time changed. Commissions for Prairie style designs declined with a devastating effect on the practice of many of the architects working in the style. For many, Maher included, it meant increasingly that designs had to be done in the eclectic styles that had become popular, or else there were would be no work to design.

Maher’s son Philip, born in 1894, joined his father’s office after World War l. The firm would become known as “George W. Maher & Son”. In the early 1920s Maher would explore his interest in town planning. Designs were prepared for Glencoe, Kenilworth, Hinsdale and other communities including Gary, Indiana where Maher and his son designed a plan for the “Railroad Gateway Development.” The scheme included a park linking the train station with new buildings for a courthouse and a city hall. During this time, the firm designed a number of other buildings in Gary.

Maher suffered from poor health in the early part of the 1920s. He was hospitalized for a period of time for depression from which he never fully recovered. Unable to fully regain his health, George W. Maher took his own life at the age of 61 in late 1926.

Rockledge  1911;
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