Address: 196 Hot Springs Road
City: Montecito, California
The Emily and George C. Stewart summer cottage was Wright’s first design and only Prairie-style residence realized in California. Wright prepared and delivered a number of blueprints for the Stewart house before closing his studio and embarking on a trip to Europe in the fall of 1909. Because it was constructed after his departure and without his direct supervision, the overall plan varies slightly from that which Wright initially proposed. Still, the house retains a close affinity with other of Wright’s work from this period. Board and batten siding gives it a horizontal thrust, and casement windows with geometric patterns and wood mullions create views onto the lush landscape that surrounds the house. Like other of Wright’s domestic structures, a living room, dining room, porch, and service area radiate from a central fireplace to create four distinct wings. The living room spans two stories, and the second story features four bedrooms and a balcony overlooking the living room below. Exterior balconies flank the living room on the second story. Sheltered by the eaves of the house’s low, hipped roof, these spaces were designed for sleeping. Wright included a drawing of the Stewart house in the Wasmuth portfolio, an indication that he was satisfied with the outcome of the design.