House with Prairie-style architectureStyle Emergence
During the period when eclectic styles were en vogue, a more distinctly American architecture was emerging. The Prairie style, popular around 1900-1920, originated in the Chicago vicinity and was disseminated through pattern books and architecture magazines. Frank Lloyd Wright was the acknowledged master of the style and its major early proponent.

Key Features
The vital characteristic of Prairie-style architecture is its relationship with the middle-American landscape. Horizontality is emphasized by the use of:
  • Bands of casement windows
  • Elongated (Roman) bricks
  • Low-pitched hipped roofs with extremely wide eaves
  • Wide-projecting porches
Earth materials, including stucco, brick, and rough-sawn wood, were preferred for facades. The Prairie style is a rarity in that it is an indigenous American style.

Local Examples
Only a few examples of the Prairie style remain in Porter County. The house shown above, located on the southeast side of Valparaiso, is one of the county's finest. The house's low-pitched roof, wide overhanging eaves, and bands of windows emphasize the horizontal of the style.