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Williamson County Jailhouse

Clarence DeMattei of Marion, owner of the Stotler-DeMattei home, has been charged with the task of renovating the Williamson County Jailhouse and getting the historic structure added to the National Register of Historic Places. DeMattei explains that the process of getting an historic structure added to the National Register is a long and difficult process, so he has enlisted the aid of a student from the SIUC History Department to help him complete the research necessary to accomplish his goal. DeMattei leads a tour of the jailhouse, pointing out that although it was built at the turn of the century, the structure had modern features such as indoor plumbing, heating, and food service. DeMattei points out that the jailhouse, which looks more like a home than a jailhouse, was one of the first buildings featuring the “Prairie School Style”, a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Prairie School Style structures share similar design elements, including low horizontal designs, clean sky lines, a central fireplace, large pedestals, overhangs and terraces, and open interior spaces. They also incorporate elements of the outdoors with the use of unfinished materials.

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