Mies, McCormick, and Prefab

“What [Mies] is designing now is what everyone either will dream of owning or will own 75 years from now.” - Chicago Daily News, May 1954

Our new online guide highlights little-known mass reproduction plans by the architect Mies van der Rohe. After completing his iconic Farnsworth House and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive in 1951, Mies explored plans for prefabricated housing like other architects of the time. He proposed replicable houses with repeated elements much like his famous steel and glass apartment buildings. The 1952 McCormick House was the prototype for a larger housing development for the western Chicagoland area.

Through our downloadable From Home activity we invite you to respond to a gridded modular design system, which is associated with Mies. Embrace, disrupt, or destroy the grid with your own creative response.

Preview the next McCormick House exhibition, A Space Problem, featuring mid-century furnishings along with works by local artists and architects.

Click here to learn more about the McCormick House, architect Mies van der Rohe, and our ongoing restoration efforts. See our Living in the McCormick House resource page for oral histories from past residents, photos for your virtual meeting background, and more.

Browse our Museum Store to find our featured item of the week - the first official catalog about the McCormick House featuring an essay by curator and historian Barry Bergdoll.

If you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting the museum through our current membership promotions, purchasing an Art-ivity pack to do at home, or donating to help our critical operating costs. Your support directly impacts our vital efforts to empower and enrich generations, and build a stronger community.

Mies, McCormick & Prefab downloads

Online guide and activities to do from home.