Curbed Chicago informs us that after two years on the market, an Oak Park home designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright sold on October 15 for $685,000. Known as the Robert P. Parker House, the 1892 structure arrived early in Wright’s illustrious career and displays more Victorian influences—like an angular turret—compared to the designer’s later work.
Although the exterior may not immediately scream “Wright,” the four-bedroom, two and a half-bathroom residence has no shortage of historic details such as a wood-trimmed foyer with understated stenciling traced along the upper walls.
The property retains many of its original leaded glass windows, and the sturdy wooden doors and flooring show the kind of character one would expect to find in a 128-year-old house. Although the kitchen is newer, the space makes use of custom cabinetry that complements the home’s historic millwork. See it here.
In 1924, Albert Mussey Johnson commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to develop his Death Valley Ranch, located in Grapevine Canyon, California. Johnson, a wealthy investor and the chairman of the National Life Insurance Company in Chicago, owned 1,500 acres of land in Death Valley, and the Ranch was located on a large, spring-fed valley.
Frank Lloyd Wright was asked to further develop the existing desert compound. Wright’s unique design, to be built into the surrounding hills, incorporates sweeping canyon views, spring-fed fountains, and a concrete block system. Wright labeled the project the “Albert M. Johnson Desert Dwelling” and made dozens of drawings for the project that included a home, a guest house, a chapel, and irrigated fields. His imaginative design was to be built into the surrounding mountain and incorporated decorative concrete blocks, a plethora of spring-fed pools and fountains, corbelled arches and spires, outdoor balconies, and expansive canyon views. Read more here.
The esteemed contemporary architecture critic Paul Goldberger once put it this way in regard to Frank Lloyd Wright: “He really did feel that America, as this new democratic country...needed a new architectural expression...that was horizontal, open in plan, open across the landscape, a sense somehow that it was connecting to that great open American land....He saw that American landscape, the openness of it, the sense that it was always moving across the land, pushing westward.”
In a recent article from Smithsonian magazine, author Paul Hendrickson gives us a little taste of his new book, Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright. Read it here.
The William F. Kier House in Glencoe, IL, built by Wright in 1914, is now on the market for $724,000. It's listed with Julie Deutsch of @properties. But in an interesting twist for budget-conscious Wright fans, the four-bedroom residence is also available for rent, for $3,200 per month.
The North Shore community of Glencoe is 25 miles north of Chicago, and the home sits in the village’s Ravine Bluffs neighborhood, where plans originally called for 25 Wright-designed homes with Jans Jensen-designed landscaping. Only five were built.
This 2,207-square-foot home features three completed levels. Tenets of Wright’s designs—including a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, easy flow between rooms, and a sense that the natural setting outside is part of the design—are immediately apparent. See the photos here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation wants to feature YOU in the next issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine! Tag them in your selfies at one of the Frank Lloyd Wright sites recently inscribed on the World Heritage list, and you may be featured in the next issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine. When taking your selfie, please respect all photo restrictions posted at the site, do not trespass on private property, be aware of your surroundings, pay any admission fees to access public sites, and respect people’s privacy. Submit your photo by following the instructions here!
Phoenix's most expensive home for sale is the iconic David and Gladys Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son and daughter-in-law and completed in 1952. Listed by realtor.com, the uniquely designed home and its guest house can be yours for $10 million.
The David and Gladys Wright House is one of only a few spiral designs realized by Frank Lloyd Wright (which includes the Guggenheim Museum in New York City). The concrete block home sits on about 6 acres, enjoying sweeping views of Camelback Mountain. See the photos here.
On Tuesday, December 3, 7-9 p.m., at the historic Judson Memorial Baptist Church, 4101 Harriet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409, Architectural historian and past-MNSAH president Dick Kronick will be a presenter in the annual Works In Progress event of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (MNSAH). The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Richard will reprise the paper he presented at this year's SAH conference in Providence, Rhode Island on April 26. The topic is "George Elmslie: In the Shadow of Louis Sullivan." Richard will discuss the highly problematic relationship between Sullivan and his chief draftsman Elmslie, in which, from 1895 to 1909, Elmslie did nearly all of the design work on eight buildings typically credited solely to Sullivan. Richard will soon submit an expanded version of this presentation for publication.
The other presenter will be MNSAH President Rolf Anderson, who will discuss his research on the Modernist architect Brooks Cavin, a Philadelphia native and Harvard graduate. Cavin won an international competition to design the St. Paul Veteran's Service Building, built in 1946. He moved to St. Paul and practiced there for 40 years, producing designs for a wide range of buildings. Cavin also taught at the U of M School of Architecture and was an effective advocate for historic preservation.
After the presentations, historian Tom Balcom will lead a tour of the Judson Memorial Baptist Church, which was designed by Minneapolis architect Harry Wild Jones and built in 1914-1915. More info here.
The Unity Temple Restoration Foundation recently sent an email newsletter around with a lot of great information about how to support Unity Temple. One item in particular was perfect for this Thanksgiving week and worth sharing.
In 1944 Frank Lloyd Wright invited Mies van der Rohe to a Thanksgiving meal. It is not certain if he attended but pictured here is a copy of the typed invitation!
"Dear Mies: We are celebrating Thansgiving on Thursday, November 30th. We are looking forward to having you with us -
Frank Lloyd Wright
November 15th, 1944"
Image via UTRF and courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives