F. L. Wright in Buffalo - Table of Contents

William Heath House
76 Soldiers Place, Buffalo, New York

Erected:

1904-1905

Architect:

Frank Lloyd Wright

Style:

Prairie
See also:
Soldiers Place - Address Renumbering


Click on photos for larger size

1911 photo by Ernst Wasmuth. Source: HABS

Source: HABS

Living Room. Source: HABS

Street on right is Bird Avenue. Prairie features

  • Massive, square porch supports
  • Low-pitched hipped-roof
  • Secluded main entry (typical of Wright) in front of the house
  • Pedestal urn

Prairie feature: buttress piers

Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo, NY - LINKS
Photos, history, architectural analysis

Prairie feature: broad, flat chimney

Art glass window. Many of the first floor windows are of clear glass.

Hipped roofs


William Heath was a lawyer who served as office manager and eventually as a vice-president of the Larkin Company. Mrs. Heath was the sister of Elbert Hubbard, a former Larkin Company executive who retired in 1893 to establish, a few years later, the Roycroft Arts and Crafts community in nearby East Aurora.

Heath was introduced to Wright by fellow Larkin executive Darwin D. Martin.

The Heath commission presented Frank Lloyd Wright with the problem of situating a substantial prairie house, with its characteristically open structure, on a deep, narrow lot alongside Bird Avenue. In order to ensure a measure of privacy, Wright placed the house right up against the sidewalk (thus opening the rear of the house to a private lawn), elevated the principal living spaces well above the eye level of the passerby, and treated the broad chimney, tiny entry, and stained-glass windows as screening devices. Privacy does prevail, although the splendid window patterns draw attention rather than avert it.

The Heath house is a precursor to Wright's renowned Robie house in Chicago (1909) where, on a similarly narrow streetside lot, Wright stuck an even more daring balance between cantilevered roofs and subtly adjusted screening mechanisms.


Sources:


Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa..
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