Commissioned for the Ladies’ Home Journal magazine via its editor and progressive architecture supporter Edward Bok, this four-bedroom, about 1,800-square-foot house was part of a series of home plans intended to educate the public about new and innovative building trends. The “Fireproof House for $5,000” was published in the April 1907 issue. It was suggested that it be constructed out of poured concrete, thus rendering it “more enduring than if carved intact from solid stone,” and that in its efficient elimination of the unnecessary it was “an improvement over the usual cut-up, overtrimmed boxes.” The rendering of the house has extensive foliage, though in keeping with Wright’s preference for no foundation plantings, the base of the house rests neatly upon a flat and virtually featureless lot.
In the lower right corner, between the two tree trunks, is the monogram of Marion Lucy Mahony (later Marion Mahony Griffin), an unusual detail given the other plates in the portfolio do not acknowledge the original draftsperson. Mahony’s attention to detail in rendering the greenery, particularly the use of twisting vines, is a hallmark of her work. Although not executed in cast concrete, the compact and efficient design was adapted with various changes by Wright for other houses, including the Steven M. B. Hunt House in La Grange, Illinois, of 1907 (pictured below).