Griffin was a young architect in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. In 1901, he took a job working for architectural legend Frank Lloyd Wright. With Wright and a handful of others, he helped to define a new American style of architecture. This group of architects was deeply influenced by Louis Sullivan, who called for an architecture that was free from the influences of older European styles, one that would reflect the spirit of this new country. What developed became known as the Prairie School, named for the influence it took from the prairies of the Midwest. It was characterized by open floor plans, horizontal lines, and natural materials.
Walter Burley GriffinArchitect
G.B. CooleyHome Owner
G.B. Cooley was born in Savanna, Illinois, but in 1894 he moved to Monroe with his wife Selena Kugler Cooley and started Monroe Steam Laundry. Cooley became one of the city’s most successful businessmen, and he soon set his mind to building a new home for him and his wife. Cooley’s brother and Griffin’s parents are believed to have been friends in Chicago. It is probably through this relationship that Cooley and Griffin became acquainted. Once they met, it is of little surprise that these two innovative men recognized a kinship. Beyond their entrepreneurial natures, they both took strides to improve the human condition. Griffin did this through his design. Cooley did this through his efforts against tuberculosis. Cooley was instrumental in rallying the support of wealthy Monroe families to build a hospital to treat the tuberculosis epidemic. Because of his leadership, the hospital bore his name, the G.B. Cooley Sanatorium. Over time, tuberculosis faded and the hospital’s focus shifted and became what is known today as the G.B. Cooley Hospital or the G.B. Cooley Services for Persons with Developmental Needs.