The Dana-Thomas House or Susan Lawrence Dana House or Dana House (built 1902-04) is an expression of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style. Located along East Lawrence Avenue in Springfield, Illinois, USA, for patron Susan Lawrence Dana, the town house reflects the mutual affection of the patron and the architect for organic architecture, the relatively flat landscape of the U.S. state of Illinois, and the Japanese aesthetic as expressed in Japanese prints.
In 1902, Susan Lawrence Dana (1862–1946) was an independent woman and heiress to a substantial fortune, including silver mines in the Rocky Mountains. Widowed in 1900, Dana enjoyed complete control over her household and fortune. Eager to express her personality and to become the leading hostess in Springfield, Dana decided to completely remodel her family's Italianate mansion located in the state capital's fashionable "Aristocracy Hill" neighborhood.
Susan Lawrence Dana's search for an architect to match her aspirations ended when she was introduced to Frank Lloyd Wright, the rising leader of a new movement in architecture.
In 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) left the office of his mentor, Louis Sullivan, and began to practice as an independent architect. Fully agreeing with Sullivan's doctrine of "organic architecture", Wright expanded it into a full-fledged system of congruence between the interior of a building and its surroundings, which came to be called the "Prairie Style".
Susan Lawrence Dana's 1902 commission to Wright to plan the "remodeling" of the Lawrence's Victorian mansion was the largest commission that Wright had enjoyed up to that time. The architect, who recognized a kindred spirit in Mrs. Dana, expanded the boundaries of his commission to design and build what was, in effect, an entirely new house.
This house was a showcase for Wright's Prairie Style. It reflected Susan Lawrence Dana's flamboyant personality and Dana's and Wright's mutual love of Japanese prints an...