The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog

William Allin Storrer's classic—now fully revised and updated—remains the only authoritative guide to all of Wright's built work. This edition includes a number of new features. It provides information on Wright buildings discovered since the first edition. It features full-color photographs to highlight those buildings that remain essentially as they were first built.

To facilitate its use as a convenient field guide, this durable flexibound edition gives full addresses with each entry, as well as GPS coordinates, and offers maps giving the shortest route to each building. Preserving the chronological order of past editions, the catalog allows readers to trace the progression of Wright's built designs from the early Prairie school works to the last building constructed to Wright's specifications on the original site.

Elsewhere on the web:

FLlW Update publishes William Allin Storrer's continued research on Wright's life and work.

A Robie House page on the website of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.

Pages for Heller House and Robie House from the Chicago Commission on Landmarks.

Steven Leigh's links to Wright websites.


The Robie and
Heller Houses

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog: Third Edition
by William Allin Storrer


Frederick C. Robie Residence (1906)
N 41" 48.386' W 87" 35.776'  MAP 32
Robie House
      The house designed for Frederick C. Robie is Wright's best expression of the Prairie masonry structure. Sheathed in Roman brick and overhung so perfectly that a midsummer noon sun barely strikes the foot of the long, glass-walled southern exposure of the raised living quarters, it demonstrates Wright's total control and appreciation of microclimatic effects. This is coupled with a high degree of integration of the mechanical and electrical systems designed by Wright into the visual expression of the interior. Living and dining space are in line, with only the fireplace—open above the mantel—providing separation. Sleeping quarters are a floor above, play and billiard rooms below at ground level.
      With the Robie house, development of the Prairie cantilever reaches maturity. The cantilever was, to Wright, the second principle of organic design (the unit system, generating a regular grid, was the first). The west veranda is shaded by a cantilevered hip roof that reaches 10 feet from the nearest possible supporting member and 21 feet from the closest masonry pier.
      Window mullions are consistently on 4-foot centers, suggesting this as the unit used by Wright in the design. The garage and its surrounding wall were later altered from the original design.
      The Robie house is owned by the University of Chicago and managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Guided tours are available.

Isidore Heller Residence (1896) and
Alterations (1896?)
N 41" 48.101' W 87" 35.818'  MAP 32
Robie House
      The primary axis of the Heller house is east-west, with its entry on the south side rather than on the street facade. The living room occupies the front quarter of the house. The main hallway runs from the center of the living room past the entry and reception room, with stairs on the opposite side, to the fireplace end of the dining room. To the rear are a kitchen and a servants' dining room. Yellow roman brick is complemented by white stone outside, waxed white oak inside, with plaster "saturated with pure color" in a rough sand finish.
      This is among the earliest of Wright's explorations of three-story residence designs. Though there are occasional "finished attics" in some earlier houses, here Wright provides servants' quarters and a large play room. The third story is decorated in sculpted figures by Richard Bock.
      Wright also designed alterations at the second level that would have provided for a new bedroom for Mrs. Heller with more windows to both south and north, over the kitchen and servants' dining area. An elevator, rising from ground to attic floor, was installed. No coherent plans of a single date seem to exist, and the available attic plan does not show the house as it was constructed.


Copyright notice: ©2002 Excerpted from pages 40 and 124 of The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog: Third Edition by William Allin Storrer, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©2002 by William Allin Storrer. All rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of University of Chicago Press.

William Allin Storrer
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog, Updated 3rd Edition
©1974, 1978, 2002, 2007; 538 p., 337 color plates, 108 halftones, 53 line drawings. 5-7/8 x 8-3/4
Paper $37.50 ISBN: 978-0-226-77620-0 (ISBN-10: 0-226-77620-4)

For information on purchasing the book—from bookstores or here online—please go to the webpage for The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

See also: