link: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School
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Architectural Tour
 link: Selected Highlights Tour
 link: Lake of the Isles Tour
 link: Minneapolis South Tour
 link: Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church
 link: Fritz Carlson House
 link: C.T. Backus House
 link: Maurice I. Wolf House
 link: Charles Wiethoff House
 link: Three Houses
 link: Charles Parker House
 link: Paul Mueller Studio
 link: Peterson House
 link: Spec. Houses
 link: Greater Minnesota Tour
 link: Razed Structures Tour
 Features of Prairie School Architecture
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C.T. Backus House
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C.T. Backus House, 1915
Purcell and Elmslie
212 West 36th Street, Minneapolis

Charles Backus, a piano tuner who occasionally worked for the Purcells, asked Purcell if his firm could design an affordable house for him along the same lines as Purcell's own home on Lake Place. Rising to the challenge, Purcell designed a charming, functional house costing just $2,992; at the time, the average home cost less than $3,000, while Purcell's own home cost $14,000. The house is generally considered the best example of Purcell and Elmslie's small open plans, with its characteristic low roofline, overhanging eaves, bands of windows, and off-center entryway. The stucco is original and has never been painted over. Although the nearly square house is only twenty-five by twenty-seven feet, its unique open plan creates the feeling of a much larger interior space. Purcell incorporated built-in shelves and benches, and even created a special place for Backus's piano so it would be the first thing visitors saw when they entered the house. The interior of the house has been only slightly altered. next stop >

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