Alvin Miller House

In ruins
Also known as: Dietrich House
1107 Court St., Charles City, Iowa

A Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian home constructed in 1946. It is located on the west bank of the Cedar River, severely damaged and nearly destroyed in the floods of 2008.



Saying the status of this house is "In Ruins" is not really fair, but it's the description closest to reality available to us.

According to a local resident, the house was built in 1946 and was inhabited until just a few years ago. In 2008, the Cedar River rose to record levels and caused severe damage to many homes in Charles City, it even washed out a historic suspension bridge. The Miller House was inundated as were the other houses along the river.

The owner has since passed on and the new owners are attempting to restore the house.

The original structure is to the left, the wing to the right of the photo was added in 2007, using stone from the same quarry as the original structure.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in November 2012




A relatively small Usonian home (only about 1,000 square feet of living space) on the banks of the Cedar River. Dr. Miller commissioned the home to be living quarters and dental clinic for him and his son, Dr. Miller, also a dentist. Parts of the home were not completed. An addition was put on to the house in 2007 with plans based on Wright sketches, and used stone from the same quarry.

The house was severely damaged in the floods of 2008. A peek in the windows reveals that work is underway to restore the structure, albeit slowly.

(This information was provided by a Charles City contractor, who happened to be fishing the Cedar River at the time of my visit.)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 16, 1978
Reference number
NR name
Miller, Alvin, House
Architectural styles
Modern Movement; Other architectural type; Wrightian
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1951
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing structures: 1
Non-contributing objects: 2

Update Log 

  • November 13, 2012: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS Coordinates, added a description and photos