AKA: La Miniatura, Pasadena, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Taliesin Fellowship (firm); Frank Lloyd Wright (architect); Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923

3 stories, total floor area: 2,400 sq. ft.

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645 Prospect Crescent
Upper Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA 91103-3245

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The Millard House, also known as "La Miniatura," was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's small handful of "textile block" houses, designed just after World War I in the Los Angeles area. These residences continued Wright's California exploration of Mesoamerican architecture and broke new ground in his use of concrete blocks knitted together by a network of steel reinforcing rods. Wright pierced the blocks to enable light to create delicate patterns on the interior and exterior. Alice Millard was a former client who commissioned an earlier Prairie Style with her husband George Millard in Highland Park, IL, (1906).

Building History

The Millard House was the first of Frank Lloyd Wright's four "Textile Block" houses in Southern California. Wright (1869-1959) had already created a 1906 residence on Lake Avenue in Highland Park, IL, for the book dealers George M. (born c. 1850 in MA) and Alice Person Millard (born 1873 in Jefferson City, MO); this Pasadena residence was for Alice alone, a new place for herself following the death of her husband. Prior to building her new house, in 1920, she resided in rented quarters at 1651 Huntington Drive in South Pasadena, CA. She paid Wright $10,000 to complete this innovative 1923 house, but, as was often the case with the architect, cost-overruns ballooned the price by $7,000. This overrun was probably not too serious for her finances, as she had enough money in 1930 to pay for a full-time chauffeur and maid and she spent virtually every year from 1919-1934 on a book-buying/pleasure trip to Europe. Her voyages to Europe were aboard first-class steamships, such as the Cunard liner, RMS Mauretania, and the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's S.S. Île de France.

Building Notes

Set on a hilly site, one entered the Millard House from the second floor into a grand two-floor living space. This floor also accommodated a guest room. Below were the kitchen and servant's bedroom, as well as a ground level terrace that opened off of the dining room. Wright situated Millard's bedroom on the top floor, with a view down to the two-floor living room. In 1930, she lived with her chauffeur and housekeeper, Emil and Sarah Claussen.


Lloyd Wright (1890-1978), supervised the construction of the Millard House, (as he did on all four Textile Block houses in Southern California), designed the landscaping, and also designed a studio built for Mrs. Millard in 1926 to the southwest of the original dwelling.

National Register of Historic Places (December 12, 1976): 76000493 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 503