Winslow House

The Winslow House is a building in River Forest, Illinois designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Built on a private street on the Edward Waller estate, the Winslow House was Wright's first important independent commission and his first attempt at reinventing the traditional house.

In 1894, the Winslow house was a marked departure from the traditional homes in the Oak Park/River Forest area. The walls, made from Roman brick, rise straight up from a cast stone coping. The second story is covered in terra cotta. The masonry elements are in the style of Louis Sullivan. The windows rise from sill to soffit. The broad-eaved hip roof projects out over the second story windows. The chimney is long and low. The exterior was designed first, and the floor plan was then made to fit. At the rear of the house is a stable/studio that in early years had a tree growing through the roof. The design was so unusual that Winslow stopped commuting on his usual train to avoid his neighbors' comments.


Many elements that are characteristic of Wright's style make an appearance in this structure. These elements serve to enhance the horizontal aspect of the house and to reduce the verticality of the two story house. The roof is low and wide, with deep overhangs and the exterior is broken into distinct, horizontal bandsâthe second floor is ornamented with decorated tiles, while the first story is faced with roman brick, a brick that is much longer than it is tall. A projecting limestone base visually anchors the house to the landscape. All of these features reappear prominently in Wright's later Prairie Style homes. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 (building #70000242).



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