Harold C. Bradley House

106 N. Prospect Ave., Madison, Wisconsin

The last extant Louis Sullivan designed house

Photos 

Overview of Cantilever Porch

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2017

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Description 

Constructed in 1909, this is one of two residences to which Sullivan contributed (the other being the Babson House in Riverside, Illinois) just after his peak as a skyscraper architect. It is an excellent example of Prairie School design. It is now used as a fraternity house by the University of Wisconsin. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, January 7, 1976

The Last Sullivan House 

Written by J.R. Manning

In the twilight of his career, and eventually in the twilight of his life, Louis H. Sullivan fell on hard times as an architect. His firm, Adler and Sullivan, did not survive the depression of 1893, when Adler left the firm. The firm had designed some of the most striking commercial buildings and skyscrapers in Chicago. His last great commission was the Carson Pirie Scott & Company store in Chicago's Loop. Adler and Sullivan was the home of the Prairie School of architecture. Although developed by Sullivan, it inspired a young Frank Lloyd Wright, who launched it into an art form.

During those years, Sullivan designed eight midwestern banks, known as his "Jewel Box" banks. He also designed a department store in Clinton, Iowa. Sullican also designed two spectacular houses. The Henry Babson residence was built in 1908 in Riverside, Illionis but it was demolished in 1960.

The other house is the subject house, the Harold C. Bradley House, built in 1909. It is one of two buildings in Wisconsin designed by Louis Sullivan, the other being a Jewel Box Bank, the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus.

The Bradley House is a grand example of the Prairie School with stained glass windows and a spectacular overhanging veranda supported by a cantelever, a design FLW would go on to use with a master's hand.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972
Reference number
72000047
NR name
Bradley, Harold C., House
Architectural style
American Movement: Prairie School
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current functions
Multiple dwelling; Educational related housing
Period of significance
1900-1924
Significant year
1909

Update Log 

  • September 2, 2017: Essay added by J.R. Manning

Sources