Arthur Heurtley House

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Arthur Heurtley House
Oak Park Il Heurtley House4.jpg
Arthur Heurtley House is located in Illinois
Arthur Heurtley House
Location 318 North Forest Avenue, Oak Park, Cook County, IL, USA
Coordinates 41°53′33.8″N 87°47′59.36″W / 41.892722°N 87.7998222°W / 41.892722; -87.7998222Coordinates: 41°53′33.8″N 87°47′59.36″W / 41.892722°N 87.7998222°W / 41.892722; -87.7998222
Area 0.2 acres (0.081 ha)
Built 1902
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Architectural style Prairie style
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 00000258[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 16, 2000
Designated NHL February 16, 2000[2]

The Arthur B. Heurtley House is located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, United States. The house was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1902. The Heurtley House is considered one of the earliest examples of a Frank Lloyd Wright house in full Prairie style.[3] The house was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places when it was designated a National Historic Landmark on February 16, 2000.[2][4]

History[edit]

While the Heurtleys owned the home it underwent three major changes. They added screens to the windows on the elevated porch as well as a breakfast room on the main floor. The third of the Heurtley's changes converted the "wood room," as it was known on Wright's original drawing into a pantry or food storage area. It is thought that the breakfast room addition and wood room conversion were done through Frank Lloyd Wright's office but the dates remain unconfirmed.[5]

In 1920 the house was purchased by Frank Lloyd Wright's sister, Jane Porter, and her husband, Andrew. They converted the home into a duplex in the 1930s and each floor was separated into apartments. The Porters stayed in the Heurtley House for 26 years. After the Porters left the house, two other owners altered the home further. The kitchens and bathrooms were modernized, the front loggia enclosed and a black iron gate was added to the home's entryway. A master bathroom was added in the last fifteen feet of the main floor veranda and the living room inglenook and dining room breakfront were removed. A second chimney and a furnace were also added.[5] Between 1997 and 2002, the owners of the house spent 1.2 million dollars on a complete restoration of the building.

Architecture[edit]

Ground floor plan.
Upper floor plan.

The Heurtley House is one of Wright's earliest, fully mature Prairie style houses and the patterns that he established with the home would eventually appear in many of his greatest works within the style.[2] Exterior emphasis on the horizontal, with strong detail in the wooden siding and high bands of windows. The roof is low pitched, and features broad eaves. Terraces and balconies are featured to bring the outside living easily to the occupants.

One enters the house through a grade level front door into a deeply colored low ceilinged entry hall. Major spaces are raised above the surrounding grounds, and as one climbs the stairs from the ground level, one is thrust into areas featuring soaring ceilings with trim echoing roof forms. Wright used this transition to emphasize that one was leaving the outside world behind as they ascended the stairs. Fireplaces, symbolizing hearth and home are centralized in the middle of the structure. The home's interior is unique in that its floor plan is reversed from the traditional layout of two story American homes that were contemporary to the era in which the Heurtly House was built. In those houses. public rooms were located on the first floor level, and private spaces on the second floor level. The public living and dining areas are on the top floor of the house.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Arthur Heurtley House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  3. ^ Most sources consider the Frank W. Thomas House in Oak Park to be the first fully mature Wright-designed Prairie style house. See The Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright by Thomas Heinz or Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago by Thomas O'Gorman.
  4. ^ Audra Bellmore (January 10, 1999). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Arthur Heurtley House PDF (256 KB). National Park Service. 
  5. ^ a b Arthur Heurtley House, (PDF), National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved 25 May 2007.