Statement of Significance (as of designation - February 16, 2000):
The Heurtley House (1902), widely recognized as a critical work in the history of modern architecture, marks a pivotal point in the early career of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is considered to be the first fully mature Prairie style house; in this house, patterns are established which would appear in the great Prairie style houses. All the fundamental characteristics associated with that style are present. Major spaces are raised well above the surrounding terrain, ceilings echo roof forms, and fireplaces are in the center of the house. The exterior features of the house and the style include deep overhanging eaves, massive central chimneys, broad horizontal groupings of windows, and obvious balconies and terraces. An influential feature of the Heurtley House is the re-organization of the traditional multi-story concept. Wright reversed the spaces that would be expected on the ground floor with those of the upper floor; the living and dining rooms are on the topmost floor.