Prairie School (U.S.)

Essay by lulusgUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2007

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

The Prairie School succeeded in creating a true American identity through their design. Discuss.

Prairie School was an architectural movement that started in Chicago dated from the 1890s. It was a regional architectural style that was rapidly and widely spread across the Midwestern region in the United States of America during its prominent peak period between the late 19th and early 20th century.

The main player of the Prairie School was Frank Lloyd Wright who originated the Prairie Style. Other architects who involved includes Walter Burle Griffin, Marion Mahoney Griffin, George Grant Elmslie, William Gray Purcell, Alfred Caldwell, George Washington Maher, Philip Maher, Dwight Herald Perkins, E. E. Roberts, Claude and Starck, William LaBarthe Steele, and John S. Van Bergen.

Agenda and aims were developed to create a true American identity through their designs. These architects wanted to create a first original and truly American Architecture Style that was not based on historical past.

And so, what is the true American identity? How can this true American identity be achieved? The term itself is as ambiguous as it looks. Every individual has their own opinion of defining the American identity, and different people based it on different context, such as a common religion, a common culture, or a common language amongst others.

The American houses before the Prairie movement did not blend in into the surrounding landscape (the structure and materials used in these houses were highly contradictory to the calm and serene feel of the broad prairie landscape) and Frank Lloyd Wright felt very strongly about it. More importantly, no unique American identity was represented as these houses were influenced from the European movement and many similar houses can be found outside America.

Frank Lloyd Wright was heavily influenced by the Idealistic Romantics in which he believed...