Prairie Architecture

Prairie architectureThe 20th century brought about the development of a distinctive architectural style known as the Prairie style. Originating in Chicago, Prairie homes are one of only a few native styles of American architecture. It was conceived by a group of architects known as the Prairie School. Of the group, Frank Lloyd Wright is probably the most known and the acknowledged master of prairie house style.

Prairie home designs were developed to adapt to the rolling prairie terrain in the Midwestern area. This resulted in the identifying features we come to know as the prairie style. Prairie architecture is predominantly horizontal in appearance and usually have hipped roofs with very wide overhanging eaves. They often have two stories with light colored brick facades or stucco & wood. Walls intersect at 90 degree right angles. Curve walls are never implemented. Windows are usually casement, arranged in groups, and often feature stained glass in geometric pattern designs. Other features include one story porches or porte cochere with massive square or rectangular masonry columns, and detailing with emphasis on horizontal lines.

The greatest influence of the prairie style design can be seen throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin areas. Due to publications spreading the ideas of this style, Prairie styles were designed and built in the western areas of the country like Utah and Arizona also.

Prairie Style architecture