Circa 1900 – 1920
The Prairie style home originated in Chicago and was known to be the architectural master work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Before the start of World War I, this style spread throughout suburban America through pattern books and other publications to become the most popular vernacular style of the early 20th century. The subtypes of this style included what some refer to as the Prairie Box or the American Foursquare, which was a symmetrical box shaped structure with a hipped roof and a front entry that acted as a focal point to the home. Many vernacular examples of this subtype included full width entry porches and dormer windows. One Prairie form was very popular among architectural designed homes; it was the same symmetrical box with a hipped roof but the entry way was placed unobtrusively off to the side. Another version of the Prairie was an asymmetrical box with hipped roof that had a string of easement windows that dominated the front façade. This type could he a single story, two story, or three-story main box with single story wings or garage extensions attached as well as a an inconspicuous main entrance. The final Prairie form had a gabled roof with long overhanging eaves.
One of the common elements of a Prairie building was the use of decorative elements to emphasize the horizontal lines of the structure. Large masonry or wooden piers to support the porch’s roof and strings of tall casement windows were used on all levels. Wall cladding ran horizontally when used and often a contrasting color was used on the caps or chimney and porches to emphasize the long lines of the building elements. The windows and other panes of glass on Prairie homes were often colored and geometric in shape to further emphasize the horizontal.