When Linda McQuillen bought her small house in Madison, Wisconsin back in 1989, she had no idea the building was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright. Her home, for which she paid $100,000, is one of the 14 remaining affordable houses designed by the famous American architect.
For $100,000 McQuillen purchased what she thought was an imitation of the Prairie School style and hadn’t known she was living in a historically significant building until a Wright scholar recently sent her a letter. According to the Wisconsin State Journal’s Gayle Worland, the Madison property is one of only 14 remaining examples of the architect’s affordable housing project entitled “American System-Built Home.” These prefab structures were built in a factory and assembled on site. The project eventually fell through, but the architect managed to complete several of these houses in the Midwest.
This recent discovery could inspire other historians to seek out other unknown Wright projects across the country. A similar discovery happened earlier this year when a bungalow in a Milwaukee suburb was attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed more than 1,000 houses in total, only 532 of which were built during his lifetime.