Neils-McGee Residence collection
Scope and Content Note
The Neils-McGee residence is exceptionally well-documented by the materials in this collection. They include over 50 drawings ranging from architectural plans, elevations, sections and details, to shop drawings for various components ranging from door and window frames to cupboards and chimneys.
Correspondence includes letters and notes to and from Frank Lloyd Wright, his associate Eugene Masselink, and others associated with the design and construction of the house. As well, there are contracts, cost sheets and surveys; the materials include documentation not only of the initial design but of subsequent additions and improvements. The collection also includes many clippings from articles highlighting the unique aspects of the design.
Language of Materials
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to the public for research purposes.
Restrictions on Use
There are no restrictions on the use of the collection. Copies may be requested if the condition of the materials warrants.
Historical and Biographical Note
The residence documented by the materials in this collection was designed in 1949 by Frank Lloyd Wright, famed architect whose works are well-known. This is one of the few buildings in Minnesota designed by Wright and is generally considered to be designed with Wright's "Usonian" principles in mind. It is located on the shores of one of the Minneapolis Metro area lakes and takes advantage of its site overlooking the lake. As well, the house incorporates the use of materials unusual for Wright, including marble procured by the owner, and aluminum window frames.
Henry J. Neils, the owner who commissioned Wright for the design of the residence, was head of the Flour City Ornamental Iron Company. At the end of World War II his firm, which had provided aluminum bridge and pontoon materials to the United States Government, found itself with a surplus of aluminum. Neils turned the firm toward the creation of prviate consumer goods using this surplus aluminum, products which included AlumaCraft boats and construction products such as curtain walls of aluminum. It was his knowledge of and affinity for the latter that inspired him to specify the aluminum frames for the windows in his residence.
This house has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has City of Minneapolis Landmark status. The McGee family members were only the second owners of the residence.
7 Cubic Feet
Architectural drawings, correspondence, clippings and other documentation for a home designed for Henry J. Neils in Minneapolis, MN by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949.
The collection is organized into 4 boxes of materials (including one oversize box containing audio-visual materials) and five rolls of drawings.
The collection was donated to the Archives in 2004 by Mrs. Mary L. McGee.
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Chris Kamerbeek in 2005.
- Neils-McGee Residence Collection
- Chris Kamerbeek
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area