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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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2728-2730 W. Burnham Street

Richards House, 2714 W. Burnham St.

Burnham Street District
2700 block, West Burnham Street, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Date of Construction: 1916

The Burnham Street District was part of the American Built-System Homes project funded by Arthur L. Richards and designed by the recognized master architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed these as low cost factory produced houses. Six American Built-System Homes were erected in this middle working class neighborhood. Four of the houses contain two-family apartments; the other two are small, single-family cottages of differing designs.

The three building designs are characteristic of Wright's Prairie work. He believed in the universality of fundamental geometrical forms, seen here in the repetition of rectangular shapes and horizontal elements. The low slung lines, broad overhangs and spare detailing is distinctively Wright. A prominent feature of his designs is the incorporation of built-in furniture that is scaled to the "naturally grown interior."

The Richards Company, established by Arthur L. Richards, marketed American Built-System Homes worldwide, but met with little success following the completion of these model homes. This standardized system represents a Wright's pioneering work with "mass produced" housing that became a prominent theme throughout his career.

The buildings are now privately owned, please respect the privacy rights of the owners.


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