Frank Lloyd Wright, Herbert And Katherine Jacobs House, Madison, Usa, 1937

  • by Mary O'Sullivan
  • Feb 24,2018

Frank Lloyd Wright, Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Madison, USA, 1937 (View  in Google Maps)

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture”.Wright was a leader of the Prairie school movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonisan home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. His creative period spanned more than 70 years.

In addition to his houses, Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings as well, including furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. 

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House, commonly referred to as Jacobs I, is a single family home located in Madison, Wisconsin. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was constructed in 1937 and is considered by most to be the first Usonian home.

Madison newspaperman Herbert Jacobs, a Wright acquaintance, challenged the architect to design and build a home for $5,000. Wright designed an L-shaped structure with an open floor plan and two bedrooms. To economize construction costs Wright developed a 2 1⁄4-inch-thick (57 mm) plywood sandwich wall for use on this house. Rumor maintains that redirected bricks from the Johnson Wax Building ultimately helped keep final construction costs at $5,500.

The Jacobs family moved into the house after construction but quickly outgrew the two-bedroom ranch. Herbert Jacobs commissioned Wright to build a second home, Jacobs II. The family moved there in the late 1940s. Over the following decades the house passed ownership and was exposed to modifications and maintenance techniques of variable historical value. A multi-year restoration project began in 1983, restoring the house to its 1937 appearance and updating worn and inefficient building systems.
The current owner has the home available for monthly rent and opens the house for tours through the Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program, Inc.




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Reviewed by :

Rémi Farwati, Elena Giannitsopoulos, Nadir Bouchene, Adela Plasilova, March 2017

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