Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Frank W. Thomas House; 1901
Born in Wisconsin in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright would become one of the most influential American architects to date. Though it would take a few years, he would develop a style of architecture that would be known as the Prairie style. Prairie style architecture would revolutionize American architecture and pave the way for other styles of residential architecture and of course, the expected Wright knock-offs and copy-cats.
The Frank W. Thomas House in Oak Park, Illinois
Some sources, such as About.com and Bluffton University state that the Frank W. Thomas home is the first official home of Wright’s Prairie style, as stated by Frank Lloyd Wright himself.
Visitors viewing the home from the street will notice that the Frank W. Thomas home in Oak Park has a similar arched entranceway like the nearby Arthur Heurtley house, also located in Oak Park. The exterior of the home, sided with stucco, also features a low horizontal profile. As expected, the roof is low pitched and the overhanging eaves are present as well as the leaded art glass windows seen in many of Wright’s past works and future designs. The exterior of the home also features a false door, which can be seen above the arched entryway.
The home is also a source of much tension in the Wright fan community, as some sources claim that the house features a high, above-ground style basement while other sources state that there is no basement at all but rather this is the first floor living area.
The floor plan of the home is L-shaped, which gives the home optimal views to the west and north. Aside from this, little else is currently available on the interior workings of the home.
The Frank W. Thomas House Today
According to Bluffton University in Ohio, the Frank W. Thomas house was last restored in 1975. Though it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, it is important to remember that the home is a private residence.
The home is also located in an important neighborhood in Chicago (the Oak Park neighborhood,) where several other of Wright’s designs still exist today including the Nathan G. Moore home, the Peter A. Beachy house, the E. R. Hills home and Frank Lloyd Wright’s own home and studio. That being said, it is important to be respectful of the current (and future) owners privacy.