September 7, 2021

The Gordon-Van Tine No. 605 is Worthy of the Attention

88 W. Franklin, Crystal Lake.


The No. 605 from Gordon-Van Tine (also known as the No. 703 in later years). Gordon-Van Tine was a kit house company based in Davenport, IA.

A view of the side dormer that houses the large master bedroom. On the first floor is the enclosed side porch. Gordon-Van Tine said it offers more privacy than a standard front porch. Screen capture from Google Streetview.



From the outside, the No. 605 in Crystal Lake seems to be a perfect match to the floor plan. 


Gordon-Van Tine said in its catalogs: "...the entire house has been so well planned that it is worthy of the attention it has attracted, and the praise bestowed upon it by those who call it home."

The No. 605 in Crystal Lake was purchased by Martin and Lena Brown. Martin bought the lot in 1922, and built the house in 1924.

Here's a photo of the house around 1927.  It never had the stucco and panels in the front gable.  Martin Brown sent a letter to Gordon-Van Tine that the company reprinted in its marketing materials. This testimonial authenticates the house as being a true No. 605. The current owners also have the original blueprints from Gordon-Van Tine. 


Martin worked as a passenger conductor for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. He retired at age 71 after more than 50 years of service.

Some of Martin's hobbies during retirement were newsworthy... for sleepy Crystal Lake.

The Browns lived in the house until 1946. 


A Sims modeler envisioned what the interior of the Gordon-Van Tine No. 605 would look like.

1 comment:

Architectural Observer said...

Not only does the side porch give more privacy than a traditional front porch but it makes the house appear much larger than it really is! It's a very handsome design, and I like the brick exterior much more than the wood and stucco option depicted in the catalog. The "news" clipping is fun, as are the cartoon-like Sims; thanks!

Post a Comment