The Prairie style house was originally conceived by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He believed that homes should have low horizontal lines and open interior spaces in contrast with the conventional Victorian designs of the time. The term Prairie style originated in a plan titled "A Home in a Prairie Town" in a 1901 Ladies Home Journal. The low horizontal lines of the Prairie style house blend well with the flat landscape of the Midwest prairies.
Prairie style houses are also characterized by a low-pitched roof, overhanging eaves, open floor plan, clerestory windows, and central chimney. Early examples had plaster siding with wood trim or a horizontal board/batten combination. Concrete block was used on later Prairie homes. Layouts included square, L-shaped, T-shaped, and Y-shaped. Depression-era Wright-designed homes were a simplified version of the Prairie Style called Usonian. Wright's basic concept was adapted by other architects, and a variation called the Prairie Box was available in kit form from Sears-Roebuck.