Purcell-Cutts house, 1913

Various materialsexpand_more

Bequest of Anson Cuttsexpand_more  90.92

Architect William Purcell wanted a house that would support a modern way of life for his family. He and Elmslie followed the approach of progressive Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, who believed the design of a building should reflect the structure’s place and time in history, as well as be compatible to its site and natural surroundings. The architects employed Sullivan’s “system of ornament,” a decorative philosophy based on natural forms. One of the most significant examples of the Prairie School style in the country, the house combines Purcell’s talent for innovative residential planning with Elmslie’s ingenious and exacting decorative detail. Their interpretation of Sullivan’s principles included such Prairie School elements as a nearly flat roof, an open interior plan, earthen colors, and more than eighty art-glass windows. Combining these elements with custom-designed stencils, furniture, and artworks, they produced an architectural gem that suited the family’s contemporary needs.

Purcell-Cutts house
Artist Life
American (born Scotland), 1869–1952
50 x 150 ft. (approx. lot size)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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