Guy C. Smith House, American System Built, Frank Lloyd Wright architect

Guy C. Smith House

10410 S. Hoyne Avenue, Chicago Built 1917

An example of the American System-Built scheme of construction. The American System of Housing was a venture between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Richards Company of Wisconsin. It is known that Wright took an interest in low cost housing systems in the early 1900's and started developing plans.The intent was that local dealers would build demonstration units and them arrange for the construction of additional homes for private homeowners on their lots using local contractors. Wright's studio was working on a number of plans for different model houses for the American System by 1911.

Wright conceived an innovative scheme of construction utilizing pre-milled materials and two foot framing modules. The materials would be fabricated in Wisconsin and sent to the building site. With America's entry into World War I, the building venture between Wright and the Richards Company ended. The American System Built Homes homes are architecturally significant as an important surviving early experiment in low cost, standardized construction.

The American System of Housing was advertised as "beauty of utility...an American feeling...an expression of national spirit...fresh, buoyant, vital."

Read a speech by FLW on American System Built

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