Meyer May House


The Meyer May House is a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in the Heritage Hill Historic District of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the United States. It was integrated in 1908-09, and lies at 450 Madison Avenue SE. It is considered a fine example of Wright’s Prairie School age, and “Michigan’s Prairie work of art”. Grand Rapids Michigan Information.

General information
Type Brick house
Architectural style Prairie School
Location 450 Madison Avenue SE,
Grand Rapids, MI
Coordinates 42.954189°N 85.659189°WCoordinates: 42.954189°N 85.659189°W
Construction started 1908
Completed 1909
Governing body Steelcase
Design and construction
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright


The Meyer May House was commissioned in 1908 by Meyer S. May, president of May’s clothes store in Grand Rapids, and his better half Sophie. The home’s appearance stands in contrast to the Victorian homes normal of the period and the Heritage Hill neighborhood. 3]

Meyer May House is stylistically typical of Wright’s Prairie homes, a two-story, T-plan built of pale brick, with hip roofs and long broad eaves, art glass windows and skylights. The first flooring windows are tucked under the eaves and raised from ground level, supplying both privacy and supplying light to the staircase and 2nd flooring gallery.

Wright thoroughly sited the house to enable optimum southern exposure for the living space windows and skylights and to develop a roomy lawn for the perennial gardens. Leaded and colored glass accented doors and casement windows open out to terraces and gardens with garden walls and planters integrated into the style.

Inside, wood grills conceal the radiators, rainbowlike strips of gold art glass were put in the horizontal grout lines of both brick fireplaces. A pastel mural of hollyhocks produced by George Niedecken is included on a dividing wall in between the living-room and dining room. The mural had been painted over, however has since been restored.  Niedecken also supervised and coordinated the home’s interior, which was completed in 1910.

In 1922, 2 bed rooms were included upstairs, as were servants’ quarters on the ground floor. May died in 1936 and your house remained empty for 6 years, not selling till 1942. Offered again in 1945, carports and additional entrances were added, and the bed room additions were rented.

The Meyer May House was positioned on the Michigan State Register of Historic Sites in 1986 and is also part of the Heritage Hill Historic District. The Heritage Hill district was listed in 1971 on both the National Register of Historic Places.


Before restoration started, extensive research study into the home’s initial 1909 state was performed through personal interviews, historical images, initial illustrations and documents, and publications about Wright. During this restoration, the 1922 addition was gotten rid of, all the plaster ceilings were replaced, the roof was restored, the Niedecken mural was brought back, more than 100 windows and skylights were fixed, and an enclosed terrace was opened up. The landscaping was likewise restored to its initial 1909 design.

Restoration started in 1986 and your house opened for visitor tours in 1987. Your house is among the most completely restored of Wright’s Prairie residences.

Spaces in the brought back home are provided with a mix of original pieces, recreations of original pieces, and comparable Arts and Crafts style items from the period.  Carpets were likewise woven according to Wright’s styles and colors.