The Dickinson House was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a devotee of the Prairie School and close associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 1906, it is a true representation of Prairie School architecture from the early 20th century. An aesthetic born in opposition to mass production and assembly-line manufacturing, the Prairie School advocated for “organic architecture”; that a structure should look as if it grew organically from the ground upon which it was built.
Just as importantly, the Prairie School was intended to be an indigenous North American architectural expression. To that end, the Prairie School architects practiced great restraint with regard to ornamentation. This is certainly evident at the Dickinson House, with its simple, dominant horizontal lines, unobtrusive roof and over-hanging eaves. It appears to give way to the nature that surrounds it.