Prairie School

You can read about the Prairie School architectural style and where it was used in Minneapolis


Originating in the Midwest at the turn of the century, Prairie School architecture represented a distinctly American style. Frank Lloyd Wright, the premiere Prairie School architect believed Victorian era homes to be too confining. Instead, according to Wright and other advocates of the style, homes should echo the landscape of the Midwest. Flat plains and open expanses inspired structures emphasizing horizontal proportions and natural building materials. The Prairie house was generally designed with a central mass from which wings, terraces, porches, and balconies radiated in an irregular, asymmetrical fashion. Low pitched hip or gable roofs typically extended past the side walls, creating a hovering illusion. Many Minneapolis architects experimented with Prairie School designs; however, it was the firm of Purcell, Elmslie and Feick that designed Minneapolis’ best representations.

Common Characteristics:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • Overhanging eaves
  • Horizontal lines
  • Open floor plan
  • Natural building materials

Prairie School Style in Minneapolis:

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