S.315 – Howard Anthony Residence,

1150 Miami Road, Benton Harbor, Michigan


As much as Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to design homes for the common man, his cost overruns meant that his residential designs tended to be commissioned by the movers and shakers.  To me, it is no surprise that the influence Wright wielded in Chicago would move along the Lake Michigan coast and up into Michigan, where the Chicago elite often kept cottages.  This is not to say that the expensive homes were purchased as expensive summer homes; rather, I suspect Wright’s reputation came to Michigan with those Chicagoland visitors. 


That influence went as far north as Whitehall (near Muskegon), but it is really felt in the southwest corner of Michigan near the Indiana line, where we find one house in Benton Harbor, two in Saint Joseph, and three in Grand Beach.  I suppose one could also argue that the FLW influence tracked more along Michigan Avenue and what would eventually become I-94, as within a few miles of that corridor you can also find his residential developments in Kalamazoo and Galesburg (four properties each) and Ann Arbor (one home) – but those homes are probably more the result of the open-minded university communities in or near those towns.


Client Howard Anthony was the owner of the Heath Company (based in nearby St. Joseph), which ran the “Heathkit” stores that sold electronic kits and components to do-it-yourselfers before Radio Shack came to dominate the market.  The house was built in 1949, and Mr. Anthony passed away in 1954.


Photographed in June 2008 and on March 30, 2016. 



2008 Photos:












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Right:  a Midway Gardens sprite welcomes visitors


2016 Photos:




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Revised 05/08/2016