The Newman Triplets

[Gustav R. Newman Residence, 2430 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: designslinger]

When you look at three houses sitting side-by-side on Orchard Street, there is something
about them that looks very much the same yet different.

[Charles Newman Residence, 2424 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: designslinger]

They were designed by architect John Van Osdel II for the Newman brothers, Charles, Gustav and John, proprietors of the Newman Brothers Piano Company and were built at the same time on three adjoining lots in 1895. While Van Osdel matched the design of each exterior, he changed the stone used on each facade. Perhaps this was the way the architect chose to reflect the fact that while these three structures and their owners were related, the houses, like the brothers, had different personalities.

[John Newman Residence, 2434 N. Orchard Street, Chicago (1895) Chicago, John Van Osdel II, architect /Images & Artwork: designslinger]

By 1910, Gustav and John were dead and Charles's nephews, and his brother's heirs,
ousted him as president of the company. As Mrs. Gustav said, "the boys feared that their uncle would close up the business and 'not do the right thing by the boys'."
So although personal harmony between the Houses of Newman didn't last that long, Van Osdel's harmonious Chateauesque design have survived the test of time.

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  • 2/25/2011 1:02 PM mj stinson wrote:
    Thanks for posting these pictures! Charles Newman (aka Karl Nyman) is my g-g-grandfather--couldn't find this on google earth.

    Reply to this
    1. 2/26/2011 6:26 AM designslinger wrote:
      Wow. Thanks for writing, and glad you found us!
      Reply to this
    2. 1/27/2012 12:23 PM Maurice Newman wrote:
      My G,G Grandfather was Gustav.
      Reply to this
      1. 5/11/2012 5:38 AM Peter Lundberg wrote:
        My great grandfather was Charles, Grandmother Alice Newman. Thanks for the post. There are many pictures and brochures on the Internet including a picture of Charles, Gus and John.
        Google Newman brothers piano. For the picture choose the antiquepianoshop link.

        Reply to this
        1. 5/13/2012 5:26 AM designslinger wrote:
          Thanks for the info, and glad you liked the post!

          Reply to this
        2. 6/1/2012 1:38 PM mj stinson wrote:
          My great grandmother is Mamie, child of Gustav and 1st wife Laura Christopherson.
          Other sources of info are reprints from Presto and Music Trade Review. That's where to read about Charles' ousting by his nephews. No wonder my mother and grandmother never talked about the Newmans!
          BTW the Antique Piano shop just sold an 1850 square piano they attributed to our Chicago Swedish Newman family. Those Newmans are German piano makers in Baltimore.

          Reply to this
          1. 6/3/2012 4:41 AM designslinger wrote:
            Thanks for passing on more info about your very interesting family!

            Reply to this
            1. 8/18/2012 10:07 PM Frank Zurek wrote:
              Gustav was my great grandfather, Mamie was my grandmother Frances' half sister.
              Reply to this
            2. 8/19/2012 7:20 AM Frank Zurek wrote:
              We still have a upright grand player piano that was given to my grandmother, Frances Hannah (Newman)Sengstock as a wedding gift in 1910.
              Reply to this
              1. 8/19/2012 7:51 AM designslinger wrote:
                That is so cool!!!

                Reply to this
      2. 8/18/2012 10:12 PM Frank Zurek wrote:
        My Great Grandfather was also Gustav. My grandmother was Frances Newman Sengstock.
        Reply to this
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