For the American Ready-Cuts, Wright conceived an innovative scheme of construction utilizing pre-milled materials and two foot framing modules. The materials would be fabricated in the Wisconsin studios of the Richards Company and then sent to the building site. Wright, in addition to establishing design, controlled sales and construction by creating a system of unique local representatives and contractors. The American System of Housing was advertised as "beauty of utility...an American feeling...an expression of national spirit...fresh, buoyant, vital."
600 Fillmore was built between 1915 and 1916 for Wilburt and Etta Wynant by General Construction. Mr. Wynant was then president of Gary National Life Insurance Company and Gary National Associates.
600 Fillmore is an example of model D101, a mid-sized two-story dwelling. Model D101 is a stucco residence possessing a flat roof with projecting eaves, a centrally located chimney, exterior banding elements, a front veranda, a rear entryway and garage, and two distinct styles of casement windows. Furthermore, model D101 illustrates Wright's interest and emphasis on the square. 600 Fillmore is an interplay of mass and void being expressed through integrated squares and use of materials.
600 Fillmore is the only known extant example of model D101. Throughout the Midwest, less than a dozen American System-Built designs are known to exist.
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The American Heritage Home Trust intends to rehabilitate the Wynant House and permanently maintain this example as a functioning Prairie School residence. The house will be rented to cultural tourists for a week or longer. In addition, the house will be available to the community as a focal point for meetings, exhibits, tours and related functions.
But as with projects of a similar caliber, funding and time are working against 600 Fillmore. This pivotal single-family house requires a variety of materials and much work. Needs include chain link fencing to secure the perimeter of the property, exterior and interior scaffolding, cypress framing members, and heavy gauge tarpaulin to help cover the roof while we establish the best method of repair.
As this project is the first example of a hybrid reconstruction and restoration effort in Northwest Indiana, I do humbly invite you to contribute to this significant endeavour. The donation of materials, labor, or funding will assure preservation of this house. Any donation will be gratefully accepted. Recognition of donations, including financial and material, will be made in the American Heritage Home Trust's Quarterly Newsletter. In addition, any firm donating a significant amount of materials, labor, or professional services, shall receive a sponsor support logo on a placard outside the building. Credit and appreciation will also appear on our web site, which will be recording the rebirth of 600 Fillmore.
Nonetheless, I appreciate your consideration of this request and the part you can play in helping to save the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright in the region. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to confirm your support for this architectural treasure."
Please visit this page for more update information. Click here to visit the American Heritage Home Trust's page.