B. Harley Bradley House Constructed

The B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, is widely acknowledged as Wright's first Prairie Style design.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually and as part of the Riverview Historic District.

Following an extensive restoration, the Bradley House now enjoys the opportunity to be appreciated by architecture fans from around the world.

Bradley House at 701 South Harrison Ave. is the other Riverview home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was built in 1901 for B. Harley Bradley. Bradley was the grandson of David Bradley, designer of the steel Diamond Breaker plow and the man for whom the Village of Bradley is named. B. Harley Bradley was married to Anna M. Hickox, the sister of the above mentioned Warren Hickox, Jr. In 1913, the home was owned by A.E. Cook, a real estate promoter from Evenston, Illinois. In 1915 it was obtained by Joseph J. Dobson, a member of the Chicago Board of trade for 22 years. Mr. Dobson was also a renowned birder who used the stable on the property for his bird house factory. The house was deeded to Mrs. James F, Nelis, Sr. in 1949 for her faithful service as Mr. Dobson’s Secretary. The Bradley House thereafter came to be known as Yesteryear, a popular restaurant that did business there for over 30 years. It was then renovated by Stephen B. Small in 1986[1]. The house entered one of the darkest chapters of Kankakee’s history when kidnappers called Small at his home posing as Kankakee City Police. The criminals claimed the Bradley House had been vandalized, luring Small out into the open where he was kidnapped and subsequently murdered[2]. Architect Ron Moline and the law firm of LaBeau, Dietcheweiler and Assoc. purchased the property, turned the house into offices, and finished the renovations started by Small in 1991. Today Bradley House is owned by Architect Gaines Hall and his wife Sharon, who purchased it in January 2005. They have returned the house to a private residence restoring both the house and stable to Wright’s original design. Plans are underway, initiated by the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, to transfer the house to a non-profit entity. [3]