FLW logo (1)

You’re in the Wright Place!

Lockridge Medical Clinic

There were only a few Wright-designed buildings in Montana and that number was reduced by one as of late Wednesday, January 10th of 2018.

Designed by Wright in 1958 for three doctors, T L. Lockridge, John T Whalen and Bruce C. McIntyre, construction on the Lockridge Medical Center was begun circa 1961 and completed in 1963, long after Wright’s death in 1959; it apparently was occupied by the doctors for only a single year.


The low, single-story and horizontally-oriented brick and cast concrete building – definitely Usonian in design – was 128 feet long, totaled 5,000 square feet in size and featured both interior and exterior brick using Wright’s typical horizontally-raked mortar joints.

There was also a central hearth in the building – a huge departure from most all traditional medical buildings. In the waiting area, the floor-to-ceiling windows with mitered glass corners and clerestory windows are trademark Wright details. There was also an interior-exterior circular planter and a wide overhang of the roof with interestingly-sculpted edges.

The doctors sold the building in 1964 after Dr. Lockridge died. The building later became home to a bank, offices for Optometrists, administrative offices for a development company and law offices for local attorneys. The original plans for the building show Wright’s signature; the red ceramic tile with Wright’s “FLLW” was set into the brick on the exterior of the building. It was purchased by developer Mick Ruis in 2016. From there, the story turns quite sad and, actually, ugly.

Although the interior underwent numerous changes and alterations over the years at the hands of various later occupants, e.g., the interior portion of the circular planter was removed (to allow entrance to the bank), many of the distinctive features had remained and the structure retained its classic Wright feel… at least until recently.


According to numerous newspaper articles, Ruis had planned to turn the property into “a three-story, mixed-use building”; plans for demolition were already underway shortly after he purchased the property. And although the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the designation did not legally protect the structure from its ultimate demise.

After failed negotiations, consisting of unreasonable terms demanded by Ruis, “the first viable, or mostly un-altered, Wright building to be torn down in 40 years”, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, became a reality.


Whatever remained of priceless Wright artifacts; whatever had been removed or was desecrated in the interior, no one can know for certain. Whatever may have been – in terms of preservation – will remain an unanswered question, as another piece of rare genius is lost to the ages.


No Deal – Historic Wright Building Destroyed Overnight (Daily Inter Lake)


341 Central Ave
Whitefish, Montana


Unfortunately, the building was demolished in January 2018

Frank Lloyd Wright in Montana



Share This FLW Site Article

Related Articles

Pew House

John Pew House

Just across the street from the northeast corner of the Blackhawk Country Club and tucked neatly into the woods on a narrow strip of land

Read More
Gordon House exterior

Gordon House (1957)

“Frank Lloyd Wright designed well over 1,000 homes and buildings throughout his illustrious career, but only one of those structures was built in the State

Read More
The Stewart House is near Santa Barbara beach

Stewart House (1909)

Before closing up his Oak Park studio in Chicago and heading to Europe in late 1909, Frank Lloyd Wright put together blueprints for what would

Read More
Search this Site
Recently Added

For Your Home

About Me

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

FLW Enthusiast & Webmaster

Architecture and home design have always fascinated me. As a young girl I enjoyed drawing floor plans, rearranging my parent’s furniture and playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos.  My passion has always been the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Since I have been old enough to drive a car, I have visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicagoland area and attended the Wright Plus house walks. Now, as co-owners of Northern Sky Designs, my husband & I are able to combine our website design skills and FLW travels to bring you this website! Enjoy!

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross