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Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Harry Goodrich House; 1896


During the early portion of his career in the late 1800s—after being dismissed from the Chicago-based Adler and Sullivan architecture firm—Frank Lloyd Wright began producing homes independently. In the historic Oak Park neighborhood of Illinois, Wright produced several homes including his own home and studio, where he would reside until 1909. Today, many of these Wright designed Oak Park homes have survived throughout the years, including a home that Wright produced for a local inventor, Harry C. Goodrich, in 1896.


The Early Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: The Harry C. Goodrich House in Oak Park, Illinois

In the Oak Park neighborhood, a visitor can expect to find a variety of Wright’s homes that show the evolution from traditional homes to the modern Prairie style of architecture that Wright would become known for.

Like many of these homes, the Harry C. Goodrich house has it’s own unique touches and design style. Though some of his previous works may have shared a floor plan (such as the Thomas Gale house and the Robert Parker house,) Wright always made sure that each home had it’s own unique, individual touches. IN fact, the Goodrich house is actually based on a previous design by Frank Lloyd Wright for a man named Charles Roberts, but the home was never built.

Visitors who are familiar with Wright’s work will take note of the early signs of Wright’s emerging future Prairie style. The hipped roof is present, though with this particular home is actually quite steeply pitched. The deep hanging eaves are also present, along with the art glass windows on the second floor polygonal bay on the facade of the home.

The home’s exterior features narrow clapboard, which extends from beneath the second story windows all the way down and over the foundation, which helps to hide the partially-above-ground basement.

However, it should be noted that the dormers on this particular home are not original. There is one dormer on the facade of the home as well as two dormers on the rear end of the home that were not designed by Wright. These rectangular dormers, though fitting to the overall style of the home, were added to the home at a later date by a different architect.

The Harry C. Goodrich House Today

Though it has survived throughout the years and it is a historic treasure, the Harry C. Goodrich home is still a private residence. Potential visitors should remain courteous of the privacy of any current and future owners of the home.