UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House

A few weeks ago when I was in Springfield, Illinois for the Housing Education Research Association (HERA) conference I had the opportunity to visit the Dana-Thomas House. This is an amazing house! It was built from 1902-04 for Susan Lawrence Dana, a forward-thinking socialite. She gave Wright a “blank check,” which is reflected in the beautiful furnishings, light fixtures and windows. At 12,600 square feet and 35 rooms, one might think they had many guest rooms. Not so. According to the tour guide, guests were not invited to spend the night, but rather sent back home on the train.

There is something very serene about a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This house contains many features of the Prairie School, like low roofs, sloped gables, bands of windows, open interior spaces, and natural wood. Like other structures designed by Wright, there are numerous design features that connect with nature. The dominant shapes are butterflies, a favorite of the family, and the Sumac plant, which is found on the prairie.

The stained glass windows, panels and lighting fixtures were beautiful. Unfortunately I couldn’t take photos of the interior in the blog; however, there are some great photos @ Dana-Thomas House. Other sources of information on Wright and the Dana-Thomas House are: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

“I believe myself that I have learned from my mistakes the most. You never learn anything from your successes.”

~ Frank Lloyd Wright




About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

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