banner search whats new site index home

Prairie — popular 1890-1930


Ward Winfield Willits House, ca. 1901, 1445 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL

Photo: Ward Winfield Willits House, ca. 1901, 1445 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photographed by User:JeremyA (own work), 2003, [creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en] via Wikimedia Commons, accessed April, 2013.

The Prairie style is one of the few styles originating in the United States designed by a group of Chicago architects referred to as "the Prairie School." One of the key architects in this group was Frank Lloyd Wright who is commonly referred to as the master or father of the Prairie style. Prairie houses were designed to blend into the flat, prairie landscape. The Prairie style is closely related to the American Foursquare.

Identifying features include:

  • Horizontal low to the ground design
  • Variety of shapes: square, rectangular, L-, T-, or Y-shaped
  • One or two stories with single-story wings or porches
  • Hipped or low-pitched gable roofs with broad eaves extending well beyond the walls
  • Inconspicuous entrances
  • Bands of casement windows with defined vertical detailing
  • Clerestory windows
  • Center broad, flat chimney
  • Early styles were most often plaster with wood trim or horizontal board-and-batten; later, concrete block or masonry facade
  • Harmonize the outdoor elements of the landscape with the open interior space
  • Decorative friezes or door surrounds with floral ornamentation

Some locations with references to Prairie style homes:

  1. 1855 Extension Historic District, Horseheads Village, Chemung County NY
  2. Academy Hill Historic District, Greensburg City, Westmoreland County PA
  3. Arthur-Leonard Historic District, Liberty City, Clay County MO
  4. Brownsville Northside Historic District, Brownsville Boro, Fayette County PA
  5. Dougherty-Prospect Heights Historic District, Liberty City, Clay County MO
  6. East Park Historic District, c. 1908, Greenville City, Greenville County SC
  7. East York Historic District, Springettsbury Twp, York County PA
  8. Forest Park Southeast District, St Louis City, Independent Cities MO
  9. Hampton-Pinckney Historic District, c. 1905, Greenville City, Greenville County SC
  10. Hermitage Road Historic District, Richmond City, Independent Cities VA
  11. Jewell-Lightburne Historic District, Liberty City, Clay County MO
  12. Menand Park Historic District, c. 1918, Colonie Town, Albany County NY
  13. Monument Avenue Historic District, Richmond City, Independent Cities VA
  14. North East Historic District, North East Boro, Erie County PA
  15. Oak Park, c. 1952, (Singles), Hatfield Twp, Montgomery County PA
  16. Old Shandon Historic District, Columbia City, Richland County SC
  17. Patton Historic District, Patton Boro, Cambria County PA
  18. Roosevelt Neighborhood, c. 1918, Phoenix City, Maricopa County AZ
  19. Stoystown Historic District, Stoystown Boro, Somerset County PA
  20. Tamaqua Historic District, c. 1831, Tamaqua Boro, Schuylkill County PA
  21. Upper Bluff Historic District, Joliet City, Will County IL
  22. West Sixth Street Historic District, Erie City, Erie County PA
  23. Westmont Historic District, Westmont Boro, Cambria County PA

Living Places information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. • Copyright © 1997-2012
The Gombach Group • 215-295-6555 • www.gombach.com