The Westcott House is the first Frank Lloyd Wright house built in Ohio, and is the state's only Prairie Style house. It is not as well known as most of his other Prairie Style houses. In fact, until recently it was practically a secret. Most likely because it was extensively altered over the years. However, after five years of work at a cost of over $5 million, it has been fully restored to its original architectural state.

Designed in 1906 and built in 1907 to 1908, the 4,435 square foot six bedroom house was a commission by Burton J. Westcott, a civic leader and industrialist most remembered for bringing the Westcott Motor Car Company to Springfield in 1916.
The house faces south on a 3/4 acre corner lot at 1340 East High Street in Springfield, Ohio, on what was once known as "millionaire's row," populated with Victorian mansions. The house extends almost to the property line on both the east and west sides. It was one of the first homes in Springfield to have electricity.

My wife and I toured the house on August 8, 2006. Photography of the house interior was prohibited so you need to follow some of the links to see those views. You can find great deals on hotels near the Westcott House at
Image of the original Wasmuth Portfolio page showing the floor plan of the Westcott House, carriage house, pergola, and gardens
Image of the original Wasmuth Portfolio page showing the floor plan of the Westcott House, carriage house, pergola, and gardens.
horizontal rule image


First Floor

When entering the house, you find yourself in a small space, facing a few steps that lead up to the first floor. The ceiling over the steps is horizontal, so the height decreases as you go up the steps, adding to the cramped feel of the entryway. Once you avoid bumping your head as you climb the top step, the main entrance hallway opens up in front of you, lit by the skylight above the staircase directly ahead and a continuous horizontal band of windows that runs along all of the exterior walls.

To the right is a playroom. To the left is the combined library (east), living room, and dining room (west) create a space that is 20 feet wide and 60 feet long. It is broken up only be the tall-backed bench seats that face each other, perpendicular to the large central fireplace. This is a common feature of Wright houses. The backs of these bench seats were bookcases with art glass doors. The fireplace wall uses uses long, slender bricks with white cement in the horizontal joints and a gray that matches the bricks for the vertical joints. This highlights the horizontal lines and blends the vertical lines to make the space feel longer.

The walls in this public area of the first floor are an unusual Japanese-inspired wall material called encaustic - roughened plaster with mixed earth-tone pigments finished in paraffin that gives the walls a texture with a very organic appearance. The trim is all a very dark stained wood. There are plenty of windows that contribute to the open and spacious feeling. Stained glass is used in various areas of this space.
Also typical of Wright’s Prairie houses, there is a dining room table with art glass lights attached. A similar table was created for the Robie House. The table for this house, and all photos of it, have been lost. There are historic drawings for the Westcott House that show a dining room table with art glass lights on each corner, and the blueprints show sketches of what the lights may have looked like. These were used to create the reproduction that can be seen in the house today.

According to an interview conducted by the Ohio Historical Society with John Westcott (Burton's son) in 1977, the dining table and the entire buffet folded into the wall. An early photo of the dining interior suggests that the table came apart into two halves, one of which was placed on top of the other, and it was all inserted into slots in the wall. The buffet also disassembled and collapsed into drawers.

A door in the dining room leads to the servants' area of the first floor. Although nicely finished, these spaces use less expensive materials and and much more plain. For example, that door is oak with brass hardware on the dining room side and pine with nickel on the kitchen side. The kitchen is quite large for a house from this period, and features two walls of storage cabinets with glass doors and plenty of counter space.

Off the kitchen is a large laundry room, a door to the back yard, and a back stairway to the second floor.

Second Floor

Above the staircase connecting the first and second floors is a large amber and dark bronze art glass skylight. Unfortunately, photography of the interior is prohibited on the tour so I have no image of it. Once again on this exterior fixture you can see the repeating pattern of the iridescent glass in the corners. Toward the front of the house are the his and hers adjoining master bedrooms with a connecting door. Each master bedroom has its own fireplace, closet, and bathroom.
The two children's bedrooms are on the west side of the house and the two servants' bedrooms are on the west, each pair sharing a bathroom. As with the first floor, the servants' area used less expensive materials. For example, the servants' bathroom has a maple floor instead of tile and steel hardware instead of brass.

One interesting feature is a third spigot for the bath tubs, fed from a large water tank behind the house that collected water from the roof.
horizontal rule image


I hand-picked the books shown below. While I have not yet read them all, they are the most highly rated (by Amazon customers) books about Frank Lloyd Wright's house interiors, furnishings, and fixtures.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Interiors book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright's Interiors
    80 page hardcover. A beautiful photographic view of more than 1,000 interiors of homes, public buildings, and corporate buildings designed by Wright, matching interior design to architectural elements—comfort, convenience, and spaciousness. This incredible four-color book features his use of tradition, horizontal lines, natural elements, concrete, and three-dimensional space.
  • The Wright Style: The Interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright book cover
    The Wright Style: The Interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright
    This 224 page paperback offers an extraordinary look inside dozens of Wright's incomparable houses, all of them filled with countless inspiring ideas.

    The book captures the essence of the architect's timeless designs—the spaces, the textures, the colors, the light, the furniture, the special features that all say Frank Lloyd Wright. As the magnificent houses here show, each of Wright's buildings was a complex composition of many interrelated elements; he regarded them as symphonies. Wright designed not just the shell, but everything inside as well: furniture, skylights, art glass windows, light fixtures, textiles, carpets, wall murals, decorative accessories, even the landscaping.

    And for those who love Wright but who cannot live in complete, authentic rooms or purchase antique Wright furnishings, the book's catalogue of products makes it possible at least to bring a touch of the Wright style home.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright at a Glance: Interiors (Wright at a Glance) book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright at a Glance: Interiors
    (Wright at a Glance)
    96 page hardcover. Following an illuminating introduction that explains the architect’s philosophy of design and his approach to interiors, 15 case studies and a selection of other buildings showcase just how spectacular, yet livable, Frank Lloyd Wright’s interiors could be. He never simply constructed an “outer shell” for the building and walked away: he created an entire elaborate layout, and his use of interior space and the furnishings he designed are as startling and attractive as his structures. From art-glass lamps and statuary to tables and chairs to carpets and fabrics, he strove to carry through carefully planned out themes and motifs.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Interior Style & Design book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright
    Interior Style & Design
    176 page hardcover. This legendary architect's vision wasn't limited to mere structures. Many of Frank Lloyd Wright's "organic" home furnishings have become bona fide classics, as well-known as the buildings for which he designed them. This stunningly illustrated survey of Wright's stylish interiors delivers an up-close look at his designs in furniture, fittings, ornamentation, lighting, art glass, fabric patterns, carpets, and even crockery. Informative text and fantastic color photography document the revolutionary methods, techniques, and materials with which the visionary 20th-century architect transformed the indoor spaces of domestic, public, and religious buildings.
  • 50 Favorite Rooms By Frank Lloyd Wright book cover
    50 Favorite Rooms By Frank Lloyd Wright
    This excellent 128 page hardcover book records 50 of Wright's domestic interiors. Diane Maddex, who has written several books on Wright, has assembled a photographic collection of his living and dining rooms as well as playrooms, libraries, and a few public spaces, including Wisconsin's Johnson Wax building and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Wright's signature style was achieved by designing human-scale spaces with beautifully crafted materials. Maddex includes the finest examples of this in the book.

    The rooms span Wright's entire career—from the Robie House in 1906 to the Guggenheim, which was completed in 1959—and they demonstrate the evolution of his style. The photographs are sensational; they capture the light, scale, and color of each interior. Accompanying each photo is a brief description of the clients, their requirements, and what Wright created for them.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Fireplaces (Wright at a Glance) book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright's Fireplaces (Wright at a Glance)
    60 page hardcover with 27 color and 7 black & white photographs. As Wright's houses changed over the course of his career, one dominant feature remained constant: a fireplace. In all he designed more than one thousand, each meant to anchor the home architecturally and spiritually. This book captures the appeal hearths held for Wright, showing the many variations he achieved.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Dining Rooms (Wright at a Glance) book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright's Dining Rooms (Wright at a Glance)
    60 page hardcover with 28 color and 9 black & white photographs. Furnished with high-backed chairs in a room of their own or tucked into a corner of the living room, Wright's dining areas represent some of his most perfectly conceived interior spaces. Frank Lloyd Wright's Dining Rooms pictures more than two dozen of his best designs and traces the changes in his own way of thinking about how people should dine.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Furnishings (Wright at a Glance) book cover
    Frank Lloyd Wright's Furnishings
    (Wright at a Glance)
    60 page hardcover with 35 color and 3 black & white photographs. From built-in furniture to lighting, textiles, tableware, and mosaics, this book introduces readers to the wealth of interior objects that bear the Wright imprint. Not afterthoughts, but parts of the architectural whole, Wright's furnishings and decorative pieces created a sense of repose—the key in his mind, to a proper home.
  • The Lamps of Frank Lloyd Wright book cover
    The Lamps of Frank Lloyd Wright
    With well over 100 illustrations and 9 pages of text, this book describes in detail how the lamps of Frank Lloyd Wright were built. Scale drawings and glass patterns of 16 lamps are included. Drawings identify came with cross sectional drawings and manufacturers stock numbers. Glass colors and stock numbers are also indicated on the drawings.

    The Butterfly Chandelier, double pedestal and two single pedestal lamps and the familiar wall sconce from the Dana-Thomas House are described in detail. Also included are the bedroom lamp from the Little House, the Cheney wall sconce, and the Robie dining room table lamp.

horizontal rule image

Click on the icon just to the right of the play/pause button to select the video.