Welcome to The Prairie School.
The Prairie School was founded in 1965 by Imogene Johnson and Willie Hilpert.
The school was designed by Taliesin Architect Charles Montooth and was built in 18 separate construction phases from 1965 to 2005.
We are starting in the student research center. This building houses our library, technology and study spaces and was completed in 1991.
This area of the building currently houses our middle school and was constructed in 1968 as the original high school.
There are many interesting architectural features in this hallway from the brick designs, to the cantilevered shelves to the natural light skylights.
While the skylights are lighted to enhance the natural light, they give the feel of openness to the students.
This building houses The John Mitchell Theater (named after the school’s first Headmaster), music department and administrative offices.
Again the architectural brick design at corners and the soldier course of brick are a theme that is present throughout the building.
The theater seats 303 and is acoustically and visually designed so there is no bad seat in the house.
All school theater productions along with concerts and meetings take place in this space.
It was originally built in 1980 and was renovated with new seating, sound and lighting systems in 2014.
This painting is of our founder Imogene Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson is the wife of Sam Johnson and is the current Chairman of the Board of The Prairie School.
If you look to your left you will see a few of the original Frank Lloyd Wright designed chairs. These chairs are on loan to the school as well as 2 original Frank Lloyd Wright designed desks, from the SC Johnson company.
This entrance is the main entrance to the school.
Across the way you can see the Johnson Athletic Center.
The original fieldhouse was completed in 1969. In 2005 the four story glass atrium along with the new gym was built.
As you have been able to see throughout the tour, the use of glass to bring in more and more natural light is a theme throughout the school.
The glass band that runs around the outside of the gym gives a feel that the roof is floating over the building. This is very apparent at night when you drive by and the lights are on in the gym.
This is one of 3 courtyards enclosed by the buildings. This one contains the globe that was originally at the SC Johnson Campus.
The next courtyard holds our giving garden and a space for students to meet and have class on nice weather days.
This circular building that surrounds the giving garden courtyard was the original school.
It was built in 2 phases during the summers of 1965 and 1966.
Originally high school graduation took place in this courtyard but has since been moved the Johnson Athletic Center.
This entrance near the Primary School office was the original entrance to the school.
This space houses our visual arts department.
The space is always busy and the use of natural light from the skylights and windows enhances the student’s experience.
The space just ahead of us is our dining room and kitchen.
As you have observed throughout the tour, Charles Montooth incorporated Cypress wood in many outside areas.
This wood is designed to stay natural. When it does need replacement, we use Cypress that has been aged and weathered on campus so it does not look out of place when it is replaced.
As we return to the Student Research Center, you can see our glass blowing studio on your left. We are the only secondary school we are aware of with a studio. All middle and high school students are able to blow glass.