A LONG, TREE-LINED GRAVEL DRIVEWAY ending in a circular turn-around brings the visitor to the secluded Barnes house, set amidst a collection of citrus and other fruit trees that pay homage to the region’s earlier agricultural landscape and framed by great oaks that give the place its name.
Clad in pebble-dash stucco on the lower story and wood shingles on the second story, Oak Ridge’s massing and details evoke the architecture of rural England. Clipped gables and deep eave overhangs suggest a thatched roof; sturdy porch posts and curved brackets suggest the great timbers used to support the roofs of the manors, barns and parish churches of the English countryside. The curved apron where the second story shingled wall meets the first story stucco and the curved corners of the sleeping porches evoke Eastern Shingle Style forebears. This is Craftsman style closer in spirit to Gustav Stickley than to the Pasadena Craftsman style of Charles and Henry Greene.
Built for Clifford Webster Barnes, a wealthy Chicago community activist, religious leader and philanthropist, Oak Ridge, as it is colloquially known, exemplifies the core tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement. Although Barnes commissioned Elmer Grey, the house was built as a residence for his parents, Joseph and Anna Barnes, and Clifford’