The densely packed houses in Madison's historic
downtown are typically deeper than they are wide
wide and so are the lots they sit on. Lots in Madison's
early twentieth century suburbs, on the other hand,
are usually wider than these downtown lots, which meant that suburban houses could be placed farther
apart than their downtown counterparts. Lots in Nakoma are wider still, and architects and builders responded to this new opportunity by creating houses that are almost always wider than they are deep. This simple act gave Nakoma homeowners both more light and more privacy than had been possible before, and it also provided larger, more usable backyards.

The Prairie style was one of the first to take advantage of this new potential, and the Sullivan house is an excellent example of this trend. The two principal facades of the house face the street, and the back yard with its side gable design also underscores its new orientation. Further emphasizing the horizontal aspects of the design are the clapboards that cover the first story, the thin wood trim that encircles the house at the level of the middle of the second story windows, and the wide overhanging eaves. In addition, the length of the house is further extended by the attached garage, one of the first in Nakoma.


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