These Amazing Structures Were All Designed by This Same Architect
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the main players who helped shape Chicago's architectural aesthetic. His houses, museums and chapels are scattered all over the country. Some of his buildings are obviously his design, but there are some others that don't look at all like he had a hand in designing them. Take a look at some of his most famous and his lesser-known structures to see how his famed style shifted.
Unity Chapel – Wyoming, Wisconsin
The Unity Chapel in Wyoming, Wisconsin, is technically Wright’s very first work. It was officially designed by Joseph Lyman Silsbee’s Chicago architectural firm in 1886 when Wright was only 18 years old. He "looked after the interior" of the chapel, though he wasn’t officially employed at the firm.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio – Oak Park, Illinois
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is, as you can imagine from the name, the historic house and workplace of Frank Lloyd Wright when he was still living in the Oak Park area. The town is a suburb near Chicago, easily accessible by transit, making it an ideal location for Wright and his creations.
Charnley-Norwood House – Ocean Springs, Mississippi
The Charnley-Norwood House was a winter-cottage design by both Wright and Louis Sullivan — father of the modern skyscraper — in 1890. The home was intended as a vacation home for James Charnley, a lumber baron of Chicago. The architectural design is a clear representation of the Prairie School of American residential design that Wright helped to make so famous.
James Charnley House – Chicago, Illinois
The James Charnley House is another residence built for James Charnley of Chicago. The residence in Chicago is located on North Astor Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood of the city. It was originally built in 1892 and is one of the few surviving residential designs by Louis Sullivan. Wright heavily contributed to the design as well.
Thomas H. Gale House – Oak Park, Illinois
Here’s another unique house designed by Wright for someone in his hometown. It’s generally referred to as the Thomas Gale House, and it’s located not too far from Wright’s own home and studio in Oak Park,. This is one of Wright’s earlier works, built in 1892.
Fred B. Jones House – Delavan, Wisconsin
Fred Jones was once a Chicago-based bachelor businessman who had this estate built for him on Delavan Lake to use as a weekend cottage for summer parties. Wright designed all the buildings on the grounds, specifically ensuring each was different from the others.
Warren Hickox House – Kankakee, Illinois
This house designed and built for real estate and loan businessman Warren Hickox Jr. in Kankakee, Illinois, spawned from two articles that Wright published in Ladies Home Journal. The exterior was modeled after "A Small House With Lots of Room in It." The walls are covered in white plaster and stained woodwork.
B. Harley Bradley House – Kankakee, Illinois
The B. Harley Bradley House, designed for Anna Hickox Bradley and her husband, B. Harley Bradley, sits next door to Anna’s brother Warren Hickox’s FLW home. It’s been said that the builders actually occupied the neighboring Warren Hickox house while this one was being built between 1900 and 1901.
Darwin D. Martin House Complex – Buffalo, New York
When you look at this house, you know immediately that it’s an FLW. The building is so distinctly designed by Wright that it’s even considered the most important work of the first half of Wright’s career, only matched three decades later in significance by Fallingwater.
Frank Thomas House – Oak Park, Illinois
Another historic home built in Oak Park is the Frank Thomas House, which was constructed in 1901. Wright himself defined this as the first of the Prairie houses — no matter what others might say — with elevated rooms and no basement. The house includes various other elements that are characteristic of the style.
Emil Bach House – Chicago, Illinois
Built in the northernmost neighborhood of Chicago on the lake, the Emil Bach house is nestled into the area so unassumingly that many people don’t know it’s there. But if you walk by and you’re familiar with Wright’s work, you’ll likely pause and wonder about it.
Ward W. Willits House – Highland Park, Illinois
The Ward W. Willits House was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901 in Highland Park, a northeast suburb of Chicago. This is one of the houses that’s a contender for the title of "first Prairie house." The plan of the house is cruciate, with four wings that extend out from the central fireplace that Wright so loved to include.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - New York City, New York
One of Wright’s two most famous building designs is one that receives many more visitors than anything else he’s built, even the famous Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania. And that is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Maynard Buehler House – Orinda, California
The Maynard Buehler House is a Usonian home designed by Wright in 1948. "Usonian" is a word that describes Wright’s vision for how American buildings should look — streamlined and built using an area’s native materials to blend in with the environment. It was made for Katie and Maynard Buehler of Orinda, California, from a steel frame with redwood panel cladding and cinder blocks.
Malcolm Willey House – Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Malcolm Willey House was designed and built for an administrator at the University of Minnesota and his wife in 1934. Wright named the home "Gardenwall." The house was commissioned by the family via a letter written by Willey’s wife asking Wright to design a "creation of art" for about $8,000.
Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House – Madison, Wisconsin
This house is commonly referred to as "Jacobs I" because it’s not the only house Wright designed for the couple. The house was built in 1937 and is considered his first Usonian home. The house is southwest of downtown Madison, Wisconsin, and is a modest-looking single-story structure.
Hanna–Honeycomb House – Stanford, California
The Hanna-Honeycomb, or Hanna House, is located on the Stanford campus in California. This was Wright’s first work in the Bay Area and his first non-rectangular structure. Construction on the building started in 1937, and the building expanded over the next 25 years into what it is today.
The Romeo and Juliet Windmill – Wyoming, Wisconsin
Wright designed this wooden structure for the town of Wyoming, Wisconsin. It was commissioned in 1896 by Wright’s aunts, Jane and Ellen Lloyd Jones, who needed a working wind pump to provide water for the Hillside Home School.
Rosenbaum House – Florence, Alabama
This single-family house was designed for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum of Florence, Alabama. It’s an example of Wright’s Usonian house concept and is the only Wright building in Alabama. Wright scholar John Sergeant calls this the "purest" Usonian example.
Robert P. Parker House – Oak Park, Illinois
This is another one of the bootleg houses that Wright designed while he was working for Sullivan and Adler, who forbade moonlighting work. The Parker House is fairly similar to the Thomas H. Gale House and was built on a speculative basis for Wright’s neighbor, Walter Gale, in 1892.
Chauncey L. Williams Residence – River Forest, Illinois
This Roman brick and plaster home was designed and built in 1895, making it one of Wright’s earliest Chicago commissions. The house reflects the influence of Japanese design, which Wright strongly admired.
William and Jessie M. Adams House – Chicago, Illinois
This house was built in the South Side area of Chicago long before it was the South Side neighborhood we know today. Wright designed it around 1900, and construction was completed in 1901. The two-story house has a square shape and brick-faced first floor with double-hung windows, which Wright disdained, making this an unusual design for him.
Nathan G. Moore House – Oak Park, Illinois
The Nathan G. Moore House, or Moore-Dugal Residence, is another house in Oak Park that Wright designed. The house was originally completed in 1895 in the Tudor Revival style, which Nathan Moore requested for his property.
Isidore H. Heller House – Chicago, Illinois
Located in the Hyde Park community of Chicago, the Isidore H. Heller House stands out a bit from the other homes in the area. You might not immediately recognize it as a Wright home, but without too much thought, you’ll get there as you observe its lines.
Harrison P. Young House – Oak Park, Illinois
The Harrison P. Young House is, admittedly, one of the more "ordinary-looking" homes that Wright designed. The reason? It wasn’t actually built from Wright’s original design, but instead, he remodeled it during the early stage of his career in 1895.
George W. Smith House – Oak Park, Illinois
Another early home built in Wright’s own neighborhood is the George W. Smith House, which belonged to a Marshall Field and Company salesman. It was designed not as a mansion or massive home but as a humble, low-cost home for the working man.
Avery Coonley House – Riverside, Illinois
The Avery Coonley House, sometimes referred to as the Coonley Estate, was designed by Wright and constructed between 1908 and 1912. This is a residential estate along the banks of the Des Plaines River in Riverside, Illinois, and is made up of several buildings Wright designed.
Rollin Furbeck House – Oak Park, Illinois
The Rollin Furbeck House is considered a major transitional work for Wright. His former designs were either square or rectangular, but this is one of his earliest cruciform-pinwheel layout designs. The arrangement allows for abundant natural lighting.
Fallingwater – Stewart Township, Pennsylvania
Probably the most famous structure Wright designed, Fallingwater in rural southwest Pennsylvania is a beautiful example of using natural design and geometric shapes to create a home that stands apart from anything else you’ll probably ever see.
Lewis Spring House – Tallahassee, Florida
During the 1950s when Wright was getting on in years, he met a couple from North Florida who adored his designs. "We have a lot of children and not much money," they told him. Wright agreed to design a house for them if they would "find [their] ground."