Designed and constructed in 1936-1937, the First Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House is located in Westmorland, on the edge of what was at the time the western border of Madison, Wisconsin, approximately one mile south of the famous Unitarian Meeting House.

The First Jacobs is the purest and most famous application of Wright's Usonian concepts.

During the Depression-stricken 1930s Frank Lloyd Wright enjoyed a recovery from a major pause in his career. Three world-famous projects emerged from this new beginning: the Fallingwater house over Bear Run in western Pennsylvania, the celebrated administration building and laboratory for the Johnson Wax Company in Racine, Wisconsin, and Broadacre City, a visionary four-by-four mile community whose spaciousness would contrast to the cramped industrial city.

As a significant aspect of Broadacre City, Wright suggested that the name of the country be changed from the United States of America to Usonia and that Usonians should be provided Usonian houses conceived, designed, and carried out in accordance with his principles of organic architecture.


The Usonian houses would relate directly to nature, emerging from the earth, as it were, unimpeded by a foundation, front porch, downspouts, protruding chimney, or distracting shrubbery.

Surrounded by ample space, they should open up to the elements in contrast to traditional, white colonial boxes arbitrarily punctured with a scatter of windows and doors.

The materials of the Usonian house were to be recognized as nature's own: wood, stone, or baked clay in the form of bricks, and glass curtain walls, clerestories, and casement windows sheltered under overhanging soffits..

Aesthetically as well as structurally, the Usonian House was meant to introduce a new, modern standard of form following function in home building.