American System Built Homes-Burnham Street District

W. Burnham St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Prototype structures of Frank Lloyd Wright's concept of American System Homes.


Model C3 Main Entrance

This home is privately owned and is not open to the public. Please respect the homeowner's privacy.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning




Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned several homes for moderate income American (he called them "Usonian") families, and advocated the construction of homes offsite and assembled at the build site. Unlike a prefabricated home, Wright advocated the cutting and fabrication of components at a factory, then shipping them to the site for assembly. He claimed this "American System" would cut waste and reduce labor costs by requiring fewer craftsmen at the job site.

Only a few examples of his American System Homes were built, including these structures on Burnham Street in Milwaukee. One of the homes is open for tours.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 12, 1985
Reference number
Architectural style
American Movement: Prairie School
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling
Current functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling
Period of significance
Significant years
1915; 1916
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 6
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • May 24, 2015: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • July 15, 2011: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • July 14, 2011: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • July 12, 2011: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added Description and Updated Status