|Posted by George Pudlo on December 23, 2010 at 10:50 PM|
Ward Willits House, 1901
1445 Sheridan Road, Highland Park IL
The Ward Willits House of Highland Park stands as a historical pivot of Frank Lloyd Wright's career with the esteemed honor of being the first true Prairie Style house. This massive house was designed for Ward Willits, who was then vice-president of Adams and Westlake Company, a brass foundry. He was later made president. The client and architect continued their relationship with the Wrights after the house was completed, and Willits and his wife accompanied Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife Catherine on a trip to Japan in 1905. The trip was the first of many for Wright, though there is no indication of the relationship with the Willits' continuing afterward. The Ward Willits home is cruciform in plan with the living quarters raised above the ground level on a stylobate. The first floor contains the living room that faces the street, the dining room, kitchen, pantry, servants quarters, reception, porte cochere, veranda, and terrace. The second floor contains five bedrooms, a library, and sewing room. The horizontal planters marking the terrace are similar to those seen in the later Robie House. As with all of Wright's houses, the structure is very much in tune with its surrounding nature. Ward Willits lived in the house until he died at the age of 92.