Dwight Perkins House
The house, built in 1904, stands as a monument to Dwight Perkins, one of the founders of the Prairie School architectural style that became a standard for Midwestern homes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house also showcases landscaping and outdoor access, a key element of the Arts & Crafts style of architecture. Dwight and his wife Lucy Perkins loved nature and it influenced Dwight's career. Lucy,'s career was just as successful as she went on to sell more than two million children's books. Their two children and daughter-in-law also contributed heavily to local history, architecture, education and writing.
Backstory and Context
The house itself, while drawing heavily upon Prairie School styles, included designs intent on encouraging access to the outdoors, such as open-air patios and decks, as well as beautiful gardens and landscaping, which became known as the Arts & Crafts Movement. To see the house is to see Dwight's personality, one dedicated to Prairie School architecture and love of nature. However, it's the people who lived and assembled at the house that genuinely make the house "historical;" they influenced education, children's' writing, the recording of town history, and so much more.
The Perkins' Children
Dwight and Lucy's son, Lawrence, went on to establish his own successful architectural career focused on designing building used for education. He received the 1975 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators for his contribution to education. Lawrence's wife (Dwight and Lucy's daughter-in-law) published many books about Evanston, mostly focused on the town's history and architecture.
"Dwight Perkins Commissions." Prairie Styles. Accessed April 27, 2018. http://www.prairiestyles.com/perkins.htm.
"Lion House." City of Chicago: Chicago Landmarks. . Accessed April 27, 2018. https://webapps.cityofchicago.org/landmarksweb/web/landmarkdetails.htm?lanId=11382.
Merriman, C. D.. "Lucy Finch Perkins." The Literature Network. Accessed April 27, 2018. http://www.online-literature.com/lucy-perkins/.
Perkins, Eleanor Ellis. Eve Among the Puritans: A Biography of Lucy Fitch Perkins. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1956.
Photo Source(s)Dwight and Lucy Perkins' house, built 1904: By Zol87 from Chicago, IL, USA - Dwight H. Perkins House, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10302542
Embedded in Nature: Picture from Prairie Styles (prairiestyles.com) --http://www.prairiestyles.com/perkins_comm.htm