Frank Lloyd Wright is credited with the invention of the Prairie School architectural style, popular from 1910 to 1925. It was brought to California by those who worked directly with him and those who copied descriptions of his buildings that appeared in architectural journals. The Prairie School house is a juxtaposition of broad boxes with eaves that overhang to the point of real or suggested cantilever. Horizontality is a design element of the casement windows, which are often grouped in bands that appear to wrap around the house.
Constructed in 1913, this home was designed in an eclectic form of the Prairie School style. The plan of the Fatjo house is rectangular. It has a hipped gable roof with wide overhanging eaves. Triangular, two-foot thick, piers flank the front façade, extending 17" out from the side elevations at ground level. The fašade is dominated by a horizontal row of casement windows with sharply defined vertical detailing. The front door is constructed of 5 vertical boards with a small rectangular opening, shielded by a unique, brass, screen/knocker. Appearing in this knocker is the lion rampant symbol of the Spanish Royal coat-of-arms. The Fatjo family was descended from a distinguished, wealthy Spanish family, and Luis reflected this heritage in his use of a version of the coat-of-arms in his home.
The Fatjo family’s connection to the Town Santa Clara goes back to 1849, when Antonio Fatjo arrived from Spain opening the Farmer’s Store, on the corner of Main and Franklin Streets. Here he raised 5 children. The third generation of Fatjos tended to build their homes on land previously owned by older family members. This home was constructed on land subdivided from the parcel owned by Luis G.’s father, Louis (Luis) M. Fatjo, Antonio Fatjo’s youngest child. After employment in the real estate office of Fatjo & Somavia, and the Mission Bank, in the early 1920s Luis G. Fatjo joined the Mercantile Trust Company as Assistant Manager. This bank became the American Trust Company and then Wells Fargo. He also became President of his father’s business, the Granadafig Company.