House Beautiful

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright x1890 designed distinctive homes around Madison.

Jacobs house

Mark Hertzberg

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House

441 Toepfer Street
This 1936 building is Wright’s answer to a challenge from Herbert Jacobs to design a “decent” home for $5,000. At just $500 over budget, the result was the first of Wright’s “Usonian” structures: affordable and quintessentially American homes that would later inspire ranch-style houses.

Lamp house

James Steakley / CC BY-SA

Robert M. Lamp House

22 N. Butler Street
Built in 1903 for Madison city treasurer and Wright’s childhood friend “Robie” Lamp, this early example of Wright’s work once boasted stellar views of both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

Frank Lloyd Wright "Airplane" house

Corey Coyle / CC

Eugene A. Gilmore House

120 Ely Place
Wright created this home, dubbed “the Airplane House” due to its winged structure, in 1908 for a UW law professor. From atop a hill in University Heights, it overlooks Madison and Lake Mendota.

Rudin house

Ali Eminov / CC

Walter and Mary Ellen Rudin House

110 Marinette Trail
An outlier in Wright’s body of work, this 1959 creation for UW mathematicians Walter and Mary Ellen Rudin features a basement and sits unharmoniously with its natural environment — a taboo in Wrightian architecture — rendering it more difficult to warm in the Wisconsin winters.


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