🟠🔷Frank Lloyd Wright
Is it cliché to have an issue about his houses? I don't care.
Ah, Frank Lloyd Wright. The man. The myth. The legend.
He is perhaps the most iconic American architect, and for good reason. Whether you love or hate his work, he’s had a profound impact on modern architecture.
He’s also had a profound impact on me. My mom is a huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan. She instilled a love of architecture in me from a young age. Growing up, my family would go on vacations oriented around seeing Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and they were some of my favorite memories. I’ve been to just about every house available to tour in the Midwest and many of his non-residential projects across the country. We’ve even spent the night at the Seth Peterson cottage in Wisconsin.
Needless to say, this newsletter wouldn’t exist without her or Frank Lloyd Wright.
To me, nothing would be more appropriate for a post-Thanksgiving edition of the newsletter than featuring architecture that reminds me of spending quality time with family. Here’s a roundup of the best Frank Lloyd Wright homes on the market this week.
The Massaro House*
Location: 1 Petre Island Dr, Mahopac, NY 10541
List Price: $9,950,000
As if having a private heart-shaped island with a Roy family-style entrance via helicopter weren’t enough, this property has two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residences on it.
*They’re technically Frank Lloyd Wright inspired. The structures were designed by FLW, but the construction wasn’t supervised by the FLW Foundation so it isn’t certified. Please do not come for me about this house if you’re a purist.
Sure there are some choices in finishes that make me wonder how Frank would feel, but overall the spirit is alive and well at this property. In the main house, it’s clearest in the foyer with the structure built around the giant rocks from the site and the triangular skylight ceiling. This photo doesn’t give you the full effect. It’s a massive rock that goes up almost all the way to the ceiling and wraps around into the kitchen.
The house feels like it was slammed onto the site in the best way possible. The house feels like it is a part of the island instead of just sitting on top of it. Outcrops of rock pop up in unexpected places like the shower and kitchen.
The only place that feels above ground is the long, slender living room which is cantilevered over the water. It feels like it’s floating much like a boat. It’s an interesting contrast to the rest of the house.
My favorite part of the property might actually be the guest house, which was the first building designed for the site. I love the vaulted wooden ceilings and the strong angles. It also feels like a nice retreat to be nestled into the trees.
P.S. If you’re someone who thinks Zillow should have a comment section, this old Curbed comment section about this house might have you thinking otherwise.
The Neils House
Location: 2801 Burnham Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416
List Price: $2,750,000
The Neils House is one of my favorite FLW residential projects. Sure, there are amazing residences like the Ennis House or Hollyhock House that are undeniably stunning, but even if they were on the market in my price range I wouldn’t be able to really imagine myself living there.
The Neils House on the other hand has the visual interest and dynamic layout of typical Usonian projects, but it’s not over the top and it feels surprisingly au courant. The aluminum glass windows give the house a modern edge, while the built-ins and fire place feel decidedly FLW.
If I lived here I might never leave the bedroom. It has a beautiful, calming ambience with the wood paneling and stone walls, gentle lighting, built-ins for my books, a built-in sofa under the window to read them on.
The Norman Lykes House
Location: 6836 N 36th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
List Price: $7,950,000
The Norman Lykes House was the last house that Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed. The house has a curvy Guggenheim-esque feel, which was supposedly designed to reflect the roundness of the top of the mountain it's perched on.
I particularly love the living room with its round built-in sofa and towering fireplace, not to mention the panoramic views of the mountain below and the city in the distance.
This house is so round, even the built-in storage along the walls curve around. There are circular and semi-circular windows dotting the curved walls seemingly everywhere too.
My favorite spot in the whole house (besides the generously sized swimming pool) is the office. How’s that for a Zoom call backdrop.
The Carr House
Location: 1544 Portage Run, Glenview, IL 60025
List Price: $1,695,000
The Carr House is one of the most charming Frank Lloyd Wright houses to me. I can’t help but smile when I look at this house. It practically smacks you in the face with charm from the moment you open the door.
It has basically every design element I love in one place: an atrium, floor-to-ceiling windows, breezeblocks, built-in furniture, angled rooflines, skylights, and wood-clad ceilings. I love that there are multiple seating areas which have distinct moods to them, including two fireplaces. I also appreciate that the built-ins don’t follow the typical FLW style of a long line in front of a window, but rather face one another or out to the windows.
I also find the bedrooms to be so enticing. They’re not the typical small rooms with low ceiling heights. Each bedroom has an angled ceiling with some play on the space so they’re not just rectangles. The master even has a generous sized fireplace, a skylight, and floor-to-ceiling windows. I find it the perfect place to settle in regardless of the season.
I’d love to fix this place up and move all of my houseplants in.
A Frank Lloyd Wright listing in Indiana: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/43-Cedar-Trl-Portage-IN-46368/81510468_zpid/
Two Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired homes that are actually FLW-inspired and not just whatever a real estate agent will say to sell a house:
A modern home by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son John Lloyd Wright: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2902-Ridge-Rd-Long-Beach-IN-46360/85532836_zpid/
Lindal Cedar Homes is the only company authorized by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to design and deliver a full materials home package to clients looking for a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Usonian-style home. Our offerings include the Mirror Lake Cottage - a translation of Seth Peterson Cottage. Would love to talk to you about these for an upcoming blog! https://lindal.com/imagine