An Early Prairie-Style Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright Lists for $2.2M in Chicago

An Early Prairie-Style Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright Lists for $2.2M in Chicago

By Kathryn M.
Back on the market, the 1896 Heller House marked a turning point in Wright’s career.

Designed and built between 1896 and ’97, the Isidore H. Heller House in Chicago’s Hyde Park mixes a classical, brick and limestone exterior with an Arts and Crafts interior. The experimental design also represents a pivotal time during Frank Lloyd Wright’s career and his transition toward the now-famous Prairie style.

The interior of Frank Lloyd Wright's Heller House features dominant woodwork throughout. The look contrasts with limestone, Roman brick, and a decorative frieze along the facade.

A large living area is located at the front of the ground floor. Wright designed the home with a distinct horizontal emphasis, with the living area assuming the shape of a cross with two rectangular spaces on either side.

Around the same time Wright was designing the Heller House, he joined fellow architects Myron Hunt, Dwight H. Perkins, and others at a new office inside Chicago’s now-demolished Steinway Hall. It was during his time here—lasting until approximately 1908—that Wright and the others discussed and defined what is today known as the Prairie School style of architecture, characterized by strong horizontal lines and a connection to the landscape. More local architects eventually began to gather in the space as well, devising ways to support and promote each other’s work. Wright referred to the group as The Eighteen.

Another view of the living area shows the fireplace along one side. Leaded glass windows wrap around two sides of the room, illuminating the entire space.

Marion Mahony, the first licensed female architect in the United States and Wright's colleague at the Steinway Hall office, designed the leaded glass windows and light fixtures, some of which have been replaced over the years.

The Heller House has been owned by numerous residents since its construction, each completing renovations or alterations of some form. Offering 6,100 square feet of interior space over four levels, the large rectangular residence mostly conforms to its 75-by-175-foot lot. The ground level contains the living room at the front, with the dining room and kitchen at the rear of the home. In total, the home contains seven bedrooms, two of which are part of a self-contained apartment on the top level. A newly reconditioned, vintage elevator connects all of the floors. Keep scrolling to see more of the home, currently listed for $2,200,000.

The opposite end of the home features the dining area. A similar cross-shaped floor plan defines the space, which is adjacent to the kitchen.

Next to the dining area, a pantry features numerous built-in cabinets for storage.

A look at the kitchen just behind the dining room. The expansive space features cabinetry along two sides and leads to another storage area with access to the backyard.

Another view of the kitchen.

Back out in the central hallway, a reading nook sits off to the side.

A look at the main entrance.

The vintage elevator was recently restored into working condition and connects each of the home's three main levels, plus a basement.

Upstairs, stained glass windows frame a wall along the landing. This level features five bedrooms in total.

A look at the master bedroom, which features one of four fireplaces found in the home. More stained glass windows filter natural light into the space.

Another of the five bedrooms is currently used as a study.

The facade is covered in a combination of Indiana limestone and yellow Roman brick. A decorative frieze along the top was completed by sculptor Richard Bock, alluding to the decorative style of Wright's early mentor and employer, the "father of the modern skyscraper" and architect Louis Sullivan. 

The Heller House, located at 5132 S Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, is currently listed for $2,200,000 by Diane Silverman of @properties.

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