link: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School
navigation spacer Introduction navigation spacer The Collection navigation spacer Purcell-Cutts House Tour navigation spacer Architectural Tour navigation spacer Comments navigation spacer
Architectural Tour
 link: Selected Highlights Tour
 link: Lake of the Isles Tour
 link: Three Early Houses
 link: Catherine Gray House
 link: E.L. Powers House
 link: Purcell-Cutts House
 link: Charles J. Winton, Sr. House
 link: Dr. Oscar Owre House
 link: E.C. Tillotson House
 link: Minneapolis-South Tour
 link: Greater Minnesota Tour
 link: Razed Structures Tour
 Features of Prairie School Architecture
 See these buildings in person.
Catherine Gray House
previous stop Catherine Gray House next-stop
map icon  

Related Images
Catherine Gray House related image
Catherine Gray House related image
Catherine Gray House related image
Catherine Gray House related image
Catherine Gray House related image

Catherine Gray House, 1907
Purcell & Feick
2409 East Lake of the Isles Boulevard, Minneapolis

Purcell's grandfather William Cunningham Gray died in 1901, and in 1907 his grandmother Catherine Gray moved from Chicago to Minneapolis to be closer to her grandson. The Catherine Gray house, Purcell's first built example of a progressive structure, was to be a home for both of them. It was also an important work for the fledgling progressive architecture firm of Purcell and Feick. Purcell's friend and future partner, George Elmslie, generously advised the young architect during the design process, establishing a collaborative method they would follow throughout their partnership.

The rectangular, two-story structure closely resembled Frank Lloyd Wright's design for a "Fireproof House for $5000" published in the Ladies' Home Journal in 1907. Purcell defined and varied the monolithic exterior by using brick on the first floor and natural-colored stucco on the second floor. The firm incorporated progressive features, such as casement windows and an asymmetrical entry, that eventually became standard in subsequent homes it designed. A partially open floor plan and a system of interior wood trim throughout the rooms unified the interior. The house has been altered over the years, including the removal of a screened pavilion to the south, though the current owners have striven to reflect the original appearance of the house in their recent restoration. next stop >

Unified Vision Intro| The Collection| Purcell-Cutts House Tour| Architectural Tour| Comments