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Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Hiram Baldwin House, 1905


Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most well-known architects in America to date, known for completing such famous works as the Guggenheim museum in New York City and the Robie House in Chicago, Illinois. In 1905, he built the Hiram Baldwin house. The Hiram Baldwin home may also be referred to as the Baldwin-Wackerle house. Located in Kenilworth, Illinois—a suburb just outside of Chicago—the home is a prime example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s developing prairie style of architecture.


The Baldwin-Wackerle House of Kenilworth, Illinois

The Baldwin-Wackerle home is one of hundreds of single family dwellings that Wright built during his lengthy career. 1905, the year the home was built, was an important time for Wright. 1905 was the year that Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife made their first visit to Japan. In his later designs, the Japanese influence would become more and more apartment.

The Baldwin house features many of the typical markers of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs of the time period. Present are the over-hanging eaves, the art-glass windows and the combination of a cream colored stucco and painted wood in a shade of dark chocolate brown.

Wright had begun using stucco because it allowed him to create a true geometric appearance in his designs. Unlike wood siding, which did not define the lines of a home’s design, stucco gave a perfect appearance.

Inside the house exists several rooms typical of the time period. There was a reception room at the front entryway as well as a maids quarters within the home. The first floor also featured a dining room, a kitchen and a living room with a large bay area.

On the second floor of the home are 4 bedrooms, one of which is a master bedroom complete with fireplace. There are also 2 bathrooms on the second floor, with a third maids’ bathroom located in the basement. The basement contains a laundry room, a coal storage room, furnace room and a darkroom for developing photographs.

Several changes have been made to the home throughout the years, as is the case with many of Wright’s designs. A large addition has been added to the rear of the home, as well as the original porch being enclosed. The original art glass windows that Wright had designed for the home are also no longer present.

The Hiram Baldwin House Today

In 1983, the Baldwin-Wackerle home was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Though it is a historic home, it is still a private single-family residence. While very easily located and often included on Wright architecture tours, trespassing should still be avoided and the privacy of the homes current and future residents should be respected.