Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Isidore Heller House

Not much is known about Isidore Heller, his wife Ida and their family. However, his home is an extremely important design in the architectural journey of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is considered to be part of the group of homes designed by Wright that marked his true transition from traditional to the style that would become mid-century modern.

Though many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s works have definitive dates of design or construction, the design date and completion date of the Isidore Heller house is highly debated. This is due to the fact that there are several different plans of the home with several different dates, many of which are incoherent or unidentifiable. However, the majority of sources agree that the home was designed around 1896 and completed in 1897; though this may or may not be correct.

Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Isidore Heller House in Chicago, Illinois

The Heller home is often compared to the Robie home, though the exterior of the home is more similar in appearance to the Rollin Furbeck home. Both the Furbeck home and the Heller home are among a handful of Wright’s experimental three-story homes. However, the famous Robie house and the Heller home do share one common layout feature: the front door is not on the front of the home. In the Isidore Heller house, the front door is located on the south side of the home, rather than at the street front.

The Furbeck home and the Heller home also both share a yellow Roman brick exterior. On the Isidore Heller house, the yellow Roman brick is framed by white stone and the roof features Wright’s growing-in-fame overhanging eaves.

On the interior of the home, the living room is located on the front quarter of the home, with the kitchen and the servants’ dining room in the rear of the home. On the third floor of the home, the original layout included the servants quarters as well as a large playroom.

The Isidore Heller House Today

In 1971, the Isidore Heller home became a Chicago Landmark. The following year, 1972, it would be added to the National Register of Historic Landmarks and in 2004, it would be added to the National Historic Landmarks List.

Currently, the Isidore Heller house remains a private residency. It’s close proximity to other completed Wright designs make it easy to view, though potential visitors of the home should remember to be respectful of the privacy of the current owners.