Friday, July 25, 2008

Pre-Fab Redux

In Milwaukee, one side of a city block houses the largest collection of American System-Built Houses - Frank Lloyd Wright's foray into the world of pre-fab housing.

A full page newspaper ad in 1917 touted these designs as low-cost homes built with factory-made components.

Several designs were offered with variations on each design theme. This group of System-Built Houses is the largest grouping in existence today (and these appeared to be all still in use as residences; some are better kept than others) but individual System-Built Houses are scattered around the Midwest. I've found evidence of at least 5 existing homes scattered around Illinois. No telling how many were built around the country, all built without Wright's supervision.

A local attorney insists that he lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home and showed me documentation of a newspaper article from the 1960's that made that claim. I've been adamant that no FLlW buildings were built in this city (according to W. A. Storrer's Complete Catalog of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings).

Now I'm beginning to wonder.

Anyone know of any American System-Built Houses outside the Midwest?

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