Prairie School Architectural / Rock Crest-Rock Glen Historic District Walking Tours


Rock Crest-Rock Glen Historic District Walking Tours

In agreement with MacNider Art Museum, Wright on the Park will begin operating Rock Crest-Rock Glen Historic District Walking Tours beginning January 1, 2019. 


Discover why Mason City, Iowa is ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as among “The World’s 20 Best Cities for Architecture Lovers”. It was ranked the world’s 8th most
important architectural destination by the luxury and lifestyle travel magazine. A 60-minute guided tour showcases the hallmark details the largest collection of Prairie School-styled homes surrounding a natural setting.

While Mason City boasts two Wright properties, the George C. and Eleanor Stockman House and City National Bank & Park Inn Hotel, originally there had been plans for
more. Wright’s departure to Europe in 1910 caused these plans came to a sudden halt. The vacuum created by Wright’s withdraw brought other Prairie School architects to Mason City, many former Wright associates. Marion Mahony Griffin, Walter Burley Griffin, Barry Byrne, William Drummond and local architect Einar Broaten combined to create Rock Crest – Rock Glen, located on both sides of Willow Creek, the first planned Prairie School development in America.

Scheduled tours are offered seasonally May 1 through September 30, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 AM. All other times by appointment.

Tour Highlights:

  • 1908 Wright designed & built the Stockman house in Mason City, IA, the third of his “Fireproof Houses” (after Tan-Y-Deri at Spring Green and the Stephen M. B. Hunt house in La Grange).
  • 1910 William Drummond designed the Curtis Yelland house on River Heights Drive.
  • 1912-14 Walter Burley Griffin designed and built Arthur Rule, Harry Page, Joshua Melson (castle), and James E. Blythe houses.
  • 1914-16 Griffin designed and Barry Byrne supervised construction of Sam Schneider and Hugh Gilmore houses.
  • 1914-16 Samuel Davis Drake house on Rock Crest designed and built by Einar Broaten, after Griffin designs were rejected for the site.
  • 1917 Barry Byrne designed C. F. Franke house.
  • 1959 Wright apprentice Curtis Besinger designed Usonian House for Tom MacNider.

Additional information

Children's Admission

Children 12 and under free