Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Arthur Heurtley House; 1902
Arthur Heurtley was a local Chicago-area banker who had expressed an interest in supporting the arts. He commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a home for him and like many of the other homes designed by Wright at the time, there are those who will argue that the Arthur Heurtley home is the “first fully mature” Prairie style house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Though it may or may not necessarily be the “first,” it is still an important part of Wright’s development as an architect.
Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Arthur Heurtley House in Oak Park, Illinois
Owned by Mr. Arthur Heurtley and his wife, Grace Crampton Heurtley, the Heurtley home is located approximately half a block away from Frank Lloyd Wright’s own home and studio; both homes are located within Oak Park city limits. The exterior of the home is constructed of Roman brick, making it unique in the fact that the other Prairie style homes built by Wright during that same era were usually constructed of a stucco exterior with wood trim. The home does, however, feature an arched doorway similar to that of the arched doorway found on the Frank W. Thomas house, also located in Oak Park.
Like many of the Prairie style homes of the era, the Arthur Heurtley house also features a low, broad hipped roof and overhanging eaves. The Heurtley home also features a hand of art glass windows on the second story of the home’s facade.
According to information provided by Bluffton University in Ohio, the second floor of the home contains the main living space as well as the children’s playroom. Meanwhile, the first floor of the home contains a laundry area. The house also has a library, music room and dining room complete with a breakfast bay.
The Arthur Heurtley House Today
The Arthur Heurtley house was purchased in 1997 by a couple named Ed and Diana Baehren. Over the next five years, they would document their restoration process where the home would be restored to museum quality. Near the end of the home’s restoration process, it was also declared a National Landmark (March of 2001.)
Light many of Wright’s works, this home has remained a private residence since it’s construction over 100 years ago. Visitors who wish to admire the home should do so from the street and avoid trespassing so as to respect the privacy of the owners.