George Madison and Alice Millard House
Address: 1689 Lake Avenue, Highland Park, IL
City: Highland Park, Illinois
Located in Highland Park, Illinois, the Millard house was commissioned by George and Alice Millard, successful antiquarian book dealers with a special interest in the English Arts and Crafts movement. The Millards sold illuminated manuscripts, prints, and finely bound books, and their cosmopolitan appreciation of art and culture surely informed their decision to engage Wright as an architect. The dark, board and batten siding of the house creates a pronounced texture and harmonizes with the wooded landscape that surrounds it. The strongly horizontal planes of the building are tiered and the second story bedroom projects over the ground floor dining room. Dramatic cantilevered roofs extend even further over the structure below. Because the lot is heavily shaded by trees, Wright employed windows with simple, clear, elongated diamond patterns that permit natural light to enter the interior spaces.
The Millards moved to Pasadena, California in 1914 and, in 1923, several years after the death of her husband, Alice commissioned Wright to design La Miniatura, a daringly innovative concrete “textile-block” house. The 1906 Millard house marks the beginning of an enduring professional relationship that led to a pivotal project initiated by a discerning and progressive client.