Eric and Pat Pratt House

People: Frank Lloyd Wright

Date: 1951-4

City: Galesburg

Eric and Pat Pratt House, Galesburg. Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, photograph by Todd Walsh.

In February 1948 the Pratts wrote to Wright, requesting that he design a home for them. He responded in the affirmative, asking about their specific desires. Displaying a playful sense of humor, Wright wrote, “we are glad to add you to the Galesburg family,” crossing out “family,” and substituting “victims.”

The Pratts responded that they would build the house themselves, and asked that he design it to be built in stages, so they could add on as their family grew. The task would prove to be quite a challenge. Upon receiving the drawings, the Pratts found “an awkward roll made up of sheets and sheets of blueprint paper… many of them covered with undecipherable markings.” Though the Pratts “knew almost nothing of reading them (the plans), or of the methods of following them to construct a building,” they eagerly studied them “hour after hour,” and eventually the “mysterious drawings” began to make sense.

The Pratts began their home in 1950, working until dark many nights, as well as forgoing vacations. During the spring of 1951, Wright toured the homes in both The Acres, and Parkwyn developments. The Pratts noted that at each house, Wright found “numerous almost fatal faults” including poorly laid blocks. Despite Wright’s criticism, the Pratts continued, and moved into their home in September 1951, and then continued to work through the fall of 1954, adding additional bedrooms and a family room.

The Pratt House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 2004 as part of The Acres historic district.