Statement of Significance (as of designation - August 6, 1998):
The Charnley House is important both nationally and internationally as one of the pivotal structures in the development of modernism in architecture. Its limestone and Roman brick walls are arranged with a strong sense of symmetry, but without any overt references to historical styles. Built in 1891-1892, it was one of the few major residential commissions of Louis Sullivan, and was a benchmark in the architectural development of Frank Lloyd Wright, who was then a draftsman and designer in the office of Adler & Sullivan. The house remains close to its original condition, both inside and out. In 1995, in an effort to safeguard its future, Seymour H. Persky purchased it and donated it to the Society of Architectural Historians. Now serving as the national headquarters of the SAH, this seminal monument in architectural history is open to the public.