A Prairie (Style) Home

I’ve joined the Board of a local non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and sustaining the awesomeness that is Downtown Frankfort. Yesterday was the annual retreat for the Board of Directors – we brainstormed ideas for the coming year and elected officers. I was in awe of the ideas and passion that the others share in regards to our capital city. I’m really excited to serve on this board and participate in all the exciting cultural and entertainment events this year.

The retreat was held in one of South Frankfort’s awesome private residences. There are so many homes that I’d love to be able to go and poke around in – to admire the gardens and the architecture – but none more than the Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler house. It’s the only Frank Lloyd Wright structure in the state of Kentucky and was built in 1910. In a historic district, I was surprised to find it was the oldest house on the block and once had  clear views of the new Capitol building (built in 1905, three now-very-crowded blocks away).

View South Frankfort in a larger map

It was pretty amazing to see the interior of the house and hear about some of the history and folklore. Woodrow Wilson slept in one of the upstairs bedrooms!

Like an idiot, I failed to take a picture of the outside of the house. I chalk this up to the fact that I’ve passed by this house thousands of times. I went to high school and then lived about two blocks from it for a number of years. The outside wasn’t want captured my fancy! But look at the details inside!

Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler - Frank Lloyd Wright House, Frankfort, KY
Wright broke all the rules. Rather than a traditional Victorian-style column that would have been popular in 1910, Wright used an “open” column style. Notice on the right side of the window, there’s an open wall space, then a single piece of wood running vertically. This is the open column style. I really like it, and I think it would be easy to duplicate this look in today’s homes.

Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler - Frank Lloyd Wright House, Frankfort, KY

The central feature of the public space in the home is this fireplace. It’s built with long lines in mind – prairie style. The display cabinets at the top are unique to this Wright home and were purportedly designed because the owner had small children and a collection of curiosities from all over the world.

Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler - Frank Lloyd Wright House, Frankfort, KY

I loved all of the leaded window details throughout the house. This was in the entryway and allowed quite a bit of light to flow through.

Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler - Frank Lloyd Wright House, Frankfort, KY

I’m not a fan of the neighbor house’s exterior, but here are some more absolutely stunning windows.

Rev. Jesse R. Zeigler - Frank Lloyd Wright House, Frankfort, KY

Many of the features in the home are clearly inspired by Wright’s travels to Japan. This screen between the staircase and the living area is a good example of that.

I’ve always really enjoyed the craftsman and prairie style architecture that is so prominent in Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, but getting to see the interior of this private home was really a privilege. It boggles my mind that this house, the oldest on the block, is still the most modern in appearance. I really love it!

3 thoughts on “A Prairie (Style) Home

  1. I pass this house everyday on my way to work after dropping my daughter off at FHS. Thanks for the peek inside. It must be awesome to live in such an important piece of architectural history.

Comments are closed.