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4 Millikin Place, Decatur, Illinois

Designed by Marion Mahony for Adolph Mueller, President of Mueller Manufacturing Company.

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he Adolph Mueller House was the last of three houses built under Marion's direction in Decatur, Illinois. Marion took over the project when she was hired by Hermann Von Holst to oversee Wright's outstanding commissions at the time of his departure for Europe in 1909. Von Holst wanted to keep the fact that Mahony and not Wright was doing the designing a secret. Mahony sent her plans to Wright for his input, but there was no response. Upset by Wright's lack of communication, Von Holst claimed the designs as his. This angered Mahony, and she then forced Von Holst to acknowledge her as the architect responsible for the plans.

he exterior of the house is marked with gabled roofs with upturned eaves, reflecting Japanese architecture. The triangular motif of the roof-line is reflected in the lighting design and a continuous pattern of leaded glass that surrounds the house.

arion's floor plan for the Mueller House spreads out into wings. Standing at one end of the first floor, you are greeted with a magnificent view that extends to the other end of the house. A formal reception area with a den divides the first floor. One side is the formal dining room and dining porch. To the other side is a sunken living room covered in a ceiling of fabulous stained glass.

he Mueller's insisted on the latest in technology within the house. Even the bathroom fixtures were the best that money could buy. Marion also designed a bat house for the backyard that matched the exterior of the main house. The Mueller's hoped the bats would act as insect control, but it is unclear how successful this was.

ow much influence Walter had on the design of the Adolph Mueller House remains a mystery. Walter was hired as the landscape architect for Milllikin Place as Marion was completing the design. There is quite a difference between her first and second revisions of her plan for the house. It is speculated that Walter may have made some suggestions to her about the plans, particularly about the roof-line. The Adolph Mueller House does contain some similar qualities of the Emery and Ralph Griffin houses. But this could also reflect that they were all designs of a similar architectural style. And all were influenced by Wright's work at the time.

oday Millikin University owns the Adolph Mueller House as the home of its President. The Mueller Museum in Decatur, operated by Adolph's granddaughter, Jane, has several archival photographs of the home in its collection as well as the history of Mueller Manufacturing.

W.H.Emery House-1903 Ralph Griffin House-1909 Adolph Mueller House-1906 Stinson Memorial Library-1913 Joshua Melson House-1912

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