Prairie School Birthday

Frank Lloyd Wright, famous architect and interior designer, was born 145 years ago today  (June 8, 1867).  In celebration of his birthday, we are highlighting the Prairie School architectural movement that he led.

“The works of the Prairie School architects are usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. 

The designation Prairie is due to the dominant horizontality of the majority of Prairie style buildings which echos the wide, flat, tree-less expanses of the mid-Western United States. The most famous proponent of the style, Frank Lloyd Wright, promoted an idea of “organic architecture,” the primary tenet of which was that a structure should look as if it naturally grew from the site. Wright also felt that a horizontal orientation was a distinctly American design motif, in that the younger country had much more open, undeveloped land than found in most older, urbanized European nations.”

One of Wright’s students, Taylor Woolley, was from Utah and designed many houses in the Salt Lake area in the Prairie School form.  His work and the work of other designers using this style can be seen in the following photographs, all from the Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards and Photographs collection.

Ladies Literary Club. 850 East South Temple. Built circa 1911. Photograph circa 1936. Parcel 16-21-351-002.

306 South Douglas Street. Built about 1914. Photograph circa 1936. Parcel 16-05-280-004.

1475 East Yale Avenue. Built about 1915. Photograph circa 1937. Parcel 16-09-304-026.

962 South Windsor Street. Built about 1912. Photograph circa 1937. Parcel 16-08-157-027.

447 South 900 East. Built about 1914. Photograph circa 1936. Parcel 16-05-333-010.


The Prairie School Traveler – Utah, accessed June 7, 2012.  Many of the historic black and white photographs in the Salt Lake City entries are from the Salt Lake County Archives, although they are not cited., accessed June 7, 2012.

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2 Responses to Prairie School Birthday

  1. slcoarchives says:

    Mark – More prairie style to come later this week. Thank you for the comment!

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am a big fan of Mr. Wright and the prairie style homes. It is fun to see the local ones

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