Coonley House

Construction year: 1912
Address: 300 Scottswood Road and Coonley Rd, Riverside | CHICAGO-ILLINOIS | United States
Latitude/Longitude: 41.82053, -87.82861

The Avery Coonley House, also known as the Coonley House or Coonley Estate was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Constructed 1908-12, this is a residential estate of several buildings built on the banks of the Des Plaines River in Riverside, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. It is itself a National Historic Landmark and is included in another National Historic Landmark, the Riverside Historic District.

The Avery Coonley House is located on a unique small peninsula surrounded by the Des Plaines River. Of the few estates that Frank Lloyd Wright developed, it is one of his largest and most elaborate prairie school-homes ever built. It is one of just three multi-building prairie complexes built by the famed architect. The other two are the Dana-Thomas House and the Darwin D. Martin complexes. The Coonley house is also the first example in Wright’s work of a zoned plan. The raised second floor includes three zones: The public area (living room and dining room), the bedroom wing (with its pendant guest wing) and finally the kitchen and servants areas. The over-9000-square-foot residence built on a ten-acre parcel has been referred to by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy as an American version of the Palazzo Style.

The entrance halls, playroom and sewing room are on the ground floor. An entire complex of interrelated buildings with extensive raised and sunken gardens was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. The main structure of the Avery Coonley Estate is the public-living room wing, located on Bloomingbank Road and behind that facing Scottswood Road is the bedroom wing of the mansion. The complex also includes a separate stable-coach house and gardener’s cottage (1911). Along with the Robie House, the Coonley Estate represents the maturation of Wright’s Prairie Style, typified by wide overhanging eaves, bands of art glass casement windows, free-flowing interior spaces and the harmonious blending of site and structure.

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