Usonian Homes: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed for the Masses

Interested in Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, but not exactly an expert in his contributions to the field of architecture? You may be more familiar with Wright’s work than you realize. Today, from coast to coast, many families are living in FLW’s residential designs.

Wright’s design style evolved, and his residential works were no exception. From the early Prairie Style to the unique California Romanza of Hollyhock to “the epitome of organic architecture” that is Fallingwater.

While variety may be the spice of life, as a 2019 article in Home Advisor article neatly illustrates, if there’s a Wright-designed home near you, it’s probably a Usonian. Where's the nearest one to you? See the map below. 

The Usonian Movement: Beautiful Architecture for the Masses

Usonian homes were intended to be both beautiful and affordable. While the concept pre-dates the Great Depression, Wright further continued to develop the concept (and the homes) in the very difficult economic years that followed.

"Challenged by Herbert Jacobs to create a decent home for $5,000, Wright’s design for “Jacobs I” (as it came to be known) is widely considered to be Wright’s first Usonian structure."  -Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

OUR NEWEST MODEL, The Jacobs House, is shipping now!

Wright’s Usonian homes are all based on the same principles, but each has a unique look. As with all of his designs, Usonians were intended to fit into the natural landscape.

Image credit: Home Advisor - Frank Lloyd Wright homes map

Frank Lloyd Wright, Ladies Home Journal, and Affordable Housing

 In an article Wright wrote for Ladies Home Journal in 1907, the architect lamented, “The cost of building has increased nearly forty per cent in the past six years.” 

In the article, he built his case for a home that would offer a “low enough cost standard” in the initial building and also in ongoing maintenance.

Not shy about self-promotion, Wright concluded the article by offering his design services for 10% the cost of the house. Quite a few families took him up on that offer. (We're pretty sure the offer has expired, but a copy of the ad is archived at the Antique Home Style website, here.)

Many Usonians in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, from New York and Ohio to Wisconsin, are open for public tours and can be rented for private stays, parties, and other events. 

Wonder what it's like to spend a weekend in a Usonian? 


Our scale model of The Jacobs House has just been released.
Jacobs House Usonian scale model
The highly detailed, accurate scale model from Little Building Co. highlights the way the architect carefully designed the Usonians to fit into the landscape. 
Usonian style Jacobs House
Usonians were designed for the average family. Now you can build one of your own in just a few hours.