William Gray Purcell’s home, completed in 1913, is one of the high points of Purcell & Elmslie’s domestic designs and is widely recognized as a masterpiece of Prairie School residential architecture. In 1919, Anson Cutts purchased the house. He lived here for 66 years, making no significant alterations and leaving the house and its exquisite decor and custom furnishings intact. Anson Cutts’s son bequeathed the structure to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1985 and it is part of the museum's permanent collection.
MacDonald & Mack provided full architectural services for this meticulous, museum-quality restoration, as well as extensive documentation and archival research.
Interior photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Purcell-Cutts House, bequest of Anson Cutts.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
AIA Minnesota Special Award
"At Home on the Prairie." Cover story of Architectural Record, March 1991.
Both the interior and exterior of the house are exquisitely detailed. Note the broad eaves, as well as the art-glass windows, stenciling above the second-story windows, and beam-end decoration projecting out from the entryway.
From the furnishings to the light fixtures, nearly every element was designed specifically for the house, in the Prarie School style. The dining area (behind the statue) overlooks the living room; the "prow" that connects them hovers just above the floor, to allow the carpet to slide underneath.
The cover of our (successful!) proposal for the project.