Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The B. Harley Bradley House
Some architectural historians consider the B. Harley Bradley house to be one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first official Prairie style homes, though others argue that it is only a single piece of the puzzle on the brink of the full development of the Prairie style of architecture. It is similar in appearance and layout to the Ward Willits house, which would be constructed later in 1902. The Bradley home is also located next door to the Warren Hickox house, another Wright design.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois
The B. Harley Bradley home, also known as Glenlloyd, is an extremely beautiful design. The facade of the home features a gabled roof with the eaves that were clearly becoming a favorite detail for Wright. It also features a centered low and broad chimney and octagonal bays near the front and center of the facade. The Bradley house also features some Japanese influence, as seen in other homes produced that same year including the neighboring house of Warren Hickox and the Stephen A. Foster home in nearby Chicago.
The first floor of the Bradley home is similar to the Willits house in terms of the floor plan. It is laid out in an almost cruciform layout featuring both the kitchen and the living room on one end with the dining room and reception area on the opposite end.
Over the years, the B. Harley Bradley home has gone through several changes, including the enclosure of the original terrace.
The B. Harley Bradley House Through the Years
Designed at the turn of the 20th century, the B. Harley Bradley house has been through several owners and renovations. Originally, Wright designed the home for Mr. Bradley and his wife, Anna Hickox, the sister of neighbor Warren Hickox. The Bradley family lived in the home with their adopted daughter and other relatives until 1913.
In 1915, it was purchased by a local retiree by the name of Joseph H. Dodson, who would convert the stable into a makeshift birdhouse factory. He would live there until 1949 and four years later, in 1953, the home would be purchased by two men who would convert the property into a restaurant known as The Yesteryear.
The Bradley home remained a restaurant for 30 years, until another local business man by the name of Stephan B. Small purchased the property. Mr. Small intended to restore the home, but never completed the work due to his premature death.
In 1990, the home was purchased yet again and then converted into an office complex; housing law offices and architectural offices. It would remain this way for 15 years. In 2005, the home and stable were restored and today the home has been returned to it’s original state. It is now owned by a not-for-profit organization, Wright in Kankakee, and is open for tours on weekends at designated times and it is also open for tours by appointment only Monday through Thursday.