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Prairie Style

Frank Lloyd Wright transformed the American home when he began to design "Prairie" style houses with low horizontal lines and open interior spaces.

Features Include:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • Overhanging eaves
  • Horizontal lines
  • Central chimney
  • Open floor plan
  • Clerestory windows  

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Frank Lloyd Wright believed that rooms in Victorian era homes were boxed-in and confining. He began to design houses with low horizontal lines and open interior spaces. Leaded glass panels often divided rooms. Furniture was either built-in or specially designed. These homes were called prairie style after Wright's 1901 Ladies Home Journal plan titled, "A Home in a Prairie Town." Prairie houses were designed to blend in with the flat, prairie landscape.

The first Prairie houses were usually plaster with wood trim or sided with horizontal board and batten. Later Prairie homes used concrete block. Prairie homes can have many shapes: Square, L-shaped, T-shaped, Y-shaped, and even pinwheel-shaped.

Many other architects designed Prairie homes and pattern books popularized the style. The popular American Foursquare style, sometimes called the Prairie Box, shared many features with the Prairie style.

In 1936, during the USA depression, Frank Lloyd Wright developed a simplified version of Prairie architecture called Usonian. Wright believed these stripped-down houses represented the democratic ideals of the United States.


McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide To American Houses. New York, Alfred A. Knopf: 1984.
“House Styles, Picture Dictionary of Houses in North America and Beyond” About .com. Mar 1 2013 <>
Architectural Style Wikipedia. Mar 1 2013. <>


Last modified on Friday, 29 March 2013 18:18
Mark Smith

Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Mark Smith and my design company is located in Stevensville, Michigan where I reside with my wife and two children. 


Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Mark Smith and I reside in Stevensville, Michigan my wife and two children. I have been interested in Architecture since my boyhood days; however, because of my families business—a lumberyard—I never really got a chance to pursue my dream until later in my career. Read more...


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