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Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The William G. Fricke House


William G. Fricke was a German immigrant (born in Germany in 1868) who relocated to the United States when he was only seven years of age. He married a local woman named Delia and after a few years when he was a partner in a school-supply business, he would commission local architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design a home for himself and his wife. After only five years in the home, Mr. Fricke would sell the house to Emma Martin, due to a divorce from his wife combined with ongoing financial difficulties.


It should be noted that the William G. Fricke house goes by many different names including the Fricke-Martin House and the Emma Martin house.

Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The William G. Fricke House in Oak Park, Illinois

The Fricke-Martin house is noted by many to have remained relatively intact, aside from updating the kitchen and bathrooms to feature more modern conveniences than those that would have been used in the early 1900s. The original leaded art glass windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are also still within the home and intact. This particular home plan was designed while Frank Lloyd Wright was in a partnership with Webster Tomilson.

Unfortunately, a major part of the design, an open air pavilion that was attached to the home, was removed within 20 years of it’s original completion and the section of the yard in which it sat was also sold off; another home now exists on the lot.

The garage was added in 1907, soon after the purchase was made by Emma Martin. Martin commissioned Wright to design a garage that would match the home’s design.

Many speculate that the vertical composition of this particular design is due to the small size of the then-double lot. With a stucco exterior and wood trim, the Fricke-Martin house is done in early Prairie style and though it is generally more vertical in appearance, it does also feature strong horizontal overtones. The hip roof along with the overhanging eaves are present and also a standard feature in Wright’s evolving Prairie style.

The William G. Fricke House Today

Though it is an important structure in the history and evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright as an architect, it is still a private residence. Therefore, it is important that any persons who wish to visit the home should remember that it is a private residence and to respect the privacy of the home’s owners.