One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s early triumphs, the Dana-Thomas House located at Fourth Street and Lawrence Avenue in Springfield, Illinois, is the best-preserved and most complete of his early “Prairie” houses.
Unlike most Wright projects, this commission involved a complete restructuring of an existing thirty-year-old home. Completed in 1904 for Springfield socialite and women’s activist Susan Lawrence Dana, the 12,000 square-foot house also includes more than 100 original pieces of furniture and 450 art glass windows, doors and light fixtures designed by Wright.
Original terra cotta sculpture by Richard W. Bock ornament the vestibule and reception hall. The four dining rooms walls are decorated with the only original George Niedecken mural surviving in a Wright house. Wright repeated a sumac theme throughout.
Susan Lawrence Dana owned the home until 1944, when it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Thomas for their publishing firm. It was sold to the State of Illinois in 1981 and is maintained by the Historic Preservation division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.