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An Asian style courtyard and hidden entrance door were two wishes the client brought with them. They also loved Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie houses and wanted the brickwork and wood trim to honor his work. Set on a corner of Illinois farmland the house appears to be one story from the front with low sloping roofs. From the rear the landscape falls away from the house revealing two stories with dramatic cantilevers.


“When we started thinking about building a new house, someone suggested that I Google Susan Bower, Architect, of Bower Leet Design. I quickly assessed that we would at least want to meet with her and discuss our project, as she was given the award of “Top Three Female Architects in St. Louis.”

After meeting with her in person, we felt even more excited about the prospect of building a new home. My husband and I had some specific ideas, some of which we had sketched on graph paper, and we had some specific style requirements as well. Susan Bower was both open-minded to our input and willing to rise to the challenge that we presented. Once we showed her the partially wooded 14 acre site, she seemed intrigued, and started taking photos on her phone. At that moment, I realized that she was guardedly excited by this project, and willing to work with us.

Through the course of designing and construction, she was with us all of the way. There were many highly specific architectural features which we were grateful to have Susan advocating for us. And of course, everything was highly detailed in the blueprints, which exceeded seventy or eighty table sized pages. So, it was not easy for any subcontractor to claim that there was any "confusion" about any detail. She held everyone fully accountable--even reviewing bids and allowances versus actual charges, as well as change orders when they occurred.

She was there to advocate for her clients every step of the way.
I cannot imagine building a home, especially with these architectural details, without her. I am happy to recommend her fully and without any reservation. And I cannot imagine accomplishing this project with anyone else.

—Debra N Smith






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