The McKillop house is yet another fine Nakoma example of the Prairie style, but even though it has a one-story sun porch wing to one side like other Nakoma examples, it is actually almost square in plan. The building's unknown designer still managed to achieve a degree of horizontal emphasis, however, by using such typical Prairie style design features as a shallow-pitched hip roof, grouped windows, and a thin wooden beltcourse that encircles the house just below the second story window sills.

More important than horizontality, though, is the complete absence of any design features borrowed from historic architectural styles. One of the things that makes the Prairie style important is that it is the first genuinely modern American architectural style, and the purest examples of the style are usually free of any references to the past.

This is certainly true of the McKillop house, which is actually very modern even today in its simplicity and its sparing use of materials. To see just how modern the house actually is, try visualizing the building with a flat roof instead. The resulting stucco-clad box would not be out of place in the most modern work coming out of Europe a decade later.

The owner, William McKillop, ran a photo shop and picture gallery in downtown Madison.


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