Address: 255 Bedford Street S.E.
Neighborhood: Prospect Park
Construction Date: 1934
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Architectural Style: Prairie School
Historic Use: Private Residence
Current Use: Private Residence
Date of Local Designation: 1984
Date of National Register Designation: 1984
Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; master architect
Period of Significance: 1934-
Historic Profile: The Willey House is Minnesota’s most significant Frank Lloyd Wright design of the Depression years. In 1934, Wright designed the house for Malcolm Willey, an administrator at the University of Minnesota. The Willey house pioneered the development of the "small house" by emphasizing the interplay of space, orientation to site, and utilization of natural light. It is one of Wright’s earliest designs to incorporate many "built-ins" and to eliminate unnecessary ornament while taking its primary quality from the expert use of natural materials. The design of the house was a precursor to Wright’s "Usonian" houses of the later 1930s, such as the Herbert Jacobs House (Wisconsin) of 1937. The Willey House continues to be preserved and occupied by owners who have recognized and respected its design quality. The house has been recognized by the University of Minnesota School Architecture and by the Minneapolis Planning Commission as one of Wright’s finest "small houses" in Minnesota.
1965, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society
2006, Minneapolis CPED
"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," August 1981.
Updated: February 2007