August 12, 2000

Malcolm E. Willey Residence

Locating this house was tricky. It can be found on the end of a street and it overlooks Interstate I-94. Not at all a typical Wright house location, and in fact, when it was originally built it overlooked the Mississippi river. It would be an interesting research project to review the history of the building of the freeway to see how homeowner protests were handled. The neighborhood where it is located now is modest and this house definitely felt out of place.
According to Storrer, the house presents a bridge from the Prairie house to the Usonian L-plan house.
There is evidently a project underway to restore this house. You can find out more about it including a comprehensive restoration journal.
The following photograph shows the view from the street. The carport (more of a garage) is evident with the entryway stairs on the right.
The house certainly feels grounded with all of the brick.
Street view of the Willey residence.
The next photograph shows the large overhangs typical in his prairie houses. Notice that the brickwork does not have the vertical segments filled-in as in most Usonian structures. The roof segment on the left appears to be a second floor, but according to the floor plan it is a single story residence. It appears that the carport steps up to the main house with a basement section below part of the house ("workspace").
Street/side view of the Willey residence.
The entryway is obscured from the street as with most of his houses.
Street/entryway view of the Willey residence.
The wall between the entry steps and the carport is an interesting division of space outside.
Another angle of the street view of the Willey residence.

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