Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Francis W. Little House
Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built several residential buildings in and around the Chicago, Illinois area; particularly during the early half of his career. Located in Peoria, Illinois; the Francis W. Little house—also known as the Little-Clarke house—was commissioned by a local Chicago-area attorney named Francis W. Little and his wife, Mary Little. Frank Lloyd Wright would also design a second home for them in the future, after they ended up relocating to the nearby state of Minnesota.
Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Francis W. Little House in Peoria, Illinois
As stated above, the Little-Clarke house was originally built for Mr. Francis W. Little and his wife, Mary. Unfortunately, within two years of commissioning the home, they ended up selling the home because of financial troubles.
These financial troubles may or may not be related to the end cost of the home, which was a staggering $14,000. According to the Measuring Worth website, today that would be the equivalent of a home that costs $2,470,000 to build. The second owner, Robert Clarke, (hence the name Little-Clarke house) would eventually sell the home to Frank Foster in 1919. Mr. Foster, a chicken rancher, who would then later sell the home to Charles and Laura Buehler within 10 years of his original purchase.
Though there have been many owners, the Francis W. Little home has not been altered nearly as much as many of the other Wright homes built over the years. However, the home was modified in 1909, though the modifications were done to the stable by Wright himself as commissioned by Robert Clarke. Furthermore, the veranda of the home would also be enclosed at some point.
The exterior of the home is constructed using a horizontal Roman brick. The art glass windows on the home are of particular note, as the originals are said to have a white opal border accompanied by gold accenting. The entranceway is arched, similar to the entryways on both the Frank W. Thomas house (1901) and the Arthur Heurtley house (1902,) both of which are in nearby Oak Park, Illinois.
The Francis W. Little House Today
As seen above in the history of the home’s previous owners, the home has always remained a private residency. Therefore, it is important that those who wish to view the home should do so from the street only and avoid trespassing as to respect the privacy of the current owners.