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The Frank Thomas Residence

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 15 September 2014 in Architecture and Portfolio.

The Frank Thomas Residence is the first Prairie house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Oak Park. Though the title of first fully mature Prairie house goes to the Ward Willits House in Highland Park, this was Wright’s first Prairie house in his own neighborhood and was alive shortly after the Willits House. The house maintains most of the qualities seen in Wright’s other Prairie homes. It has a very low hipped roof, broad overhanging roof eaves, and bands of art glass windows. Most of Wright’s Prairie houses have either a square or cruciform floor plan. The Frank Thomas Residence is unique in that is has an L-shaped floor plan. The shorter part of the L extends from the front of the house and was designed as a breakfast nook. The house does have a basement, a feature Wright would eventually eliminate, but it is only partially submerged underground. Most of the basement/ground level is above ground and was designed as servant’s quarters. The first level of living space is elevated one and half floors, with bedrooms on the top floor. The arched entryway at the ground level is somewhat deceiving as it makes one believe that is where the entrance is. However, one must enter the arch, and turn left to walk up a flight of stairs. The front door is actually disguised as one of the art glass windows that wraps around the inner corner of the L-shaped house. The windows on the top floor are a variation of the Chicago style window.

There are posts that support the outer portion of the roof on both ends of the house. This is a good indication that this was one of Wright’s earliest Prairie houses. If the house had been built a few years later, the roofs would be cantilevered off of the house without vertical support. Wright was always trying to eliminate the vertical. The Frank Thomas Residence is also a good reference for estimating the age of other houses in the neighborhood, as it was the first house in Oak Park to be covered in stucco.

Photo captured August 30, 2014.

NIKON D7000 1/30 second F/13.0 ISO 160 45 mm (35mm equiv.)

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Spotlight Images

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

How I envy you being able to see these . . each one a gem.

15 Sep 2014 6:02am

Wayra from Roma, Italy

Beautiful colours, beautiful place!!!

15 Sep 2014 6:52am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Agree with Ronnie, Each and every one is a beauty. and your pictures are amazing as always :)

15 Sep 2014 8:28am

Tomek from PoznaƄ, Poland

Superb light and shadows.:-)

15 Sep 2014 11:48am

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

I love seeing these Frank Lloyd Wright houses. My Dad was born in this area. This one is composed beautifully

15 Sep 2014 12:45pm

Graciel·la (Vic. Catalonia) from CAT. New European State, Poland

Another special building. Thanks for the information, again.

15 Sep 2014 2:50pm

franz from Baden, Austria

not only are the buildings as such spectacular, i also admire the setting!

15 Sep 2014 5:48pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

This is just beautiful. The design is just gorgeous. I love the arched entryway and the roofs. Great information! You are so lucky to have so many Frank Lloyd Wright houses nearby!

15 Sep 2014 9:01pm

Baldwin Vandewalle from Bejuma, Venezuela

Another magnificent and imposing architectural marvel beautifully captured !!!

15 Sep 2014 11:12pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Very nice shot with the mottling shadows.

16 Sep 2014 1:55am

Abena from Illinois, United States

and that is gorgeous!

16 Sep 2014 5:04am

L'Angevine from Angers, France


16 Sep 2014 6:53am

Francisco Romero from Leon, Spain

Gorgeous presentation of the house. Wonderful light.

16 Sep 2014 4:23pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

What a beautiful house and a large one it seems. The more of these I see the better I appreciate the architect. A few years ago, we got to tour Taliesin West. That was great but these seem more like "real" houses.

17 Sep 2014 3:22am

Julie L. Brown, Photobirder from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Excellent exposure.

19 Sep 2014 11:10am

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

This is another architectural marvel and what is fascinating to me is how very close it is to its neighbor.
Hopefully it has a large back yard. ;D

24 Sep 2014 2:24pm