The owners of the Charles and Dorothy Manson house have reached out with the news that they are putting the house on the market and wanted to share the news in the hopes of finding the home's next stewards.
The Charles and Dorothy Manson house is an early example of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian houses. Designed in 1938 and completed in 1941, the distinctive horizontal roof line descends four levels down the cascading wooded lot on Wausau's prestigious and historic East Hill neighborhood. Situated in a park-like setting and surrounded by historic properties, this 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2462 square foot home on 0.58 acre lot is just a short walk to downtown Wausau.
Mr. Wright's timeless design makes the house look modern and relevant even with current standards. Exterior and interior walls of the house are made of precious red tidewater cypress in a board and batten design and local red Ringle bricks. Wright's signature perforated windows are present throughout the house. Some suggest that Manson is the first Wright Usonian house with custom perforated windows.
Within the past 6 years, the current owners have made significant endeavors to preserve and restore the house. The original pebble and tar flat roof was leaking and causing damages for decades, as in almost all flat roof buildings by Wright. Upon the approval of the local historic preservation committee, the old roof was removed and replaced with an efficient rubber roofing system (June 2020) and all damages underneath were remediated. The current owners refinished and re-stained all exterior wood, restored the exterior of the master bedroom (removing added windows and a gas heater that are not part of the original design), restored the second floor bathroom, re-landscaped the property, remodeled the kitchen, restored both fireplace openings, repointed the bricks around the house, and worked on many other parts of the house. They also applied and successfully gained approval to have the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. This house is also a Historical Landmark for the City of Wausau.
The sale price of $425,000 includes copies of the house/furniture blueprints, all existing furniture, all framed historic photos in the gallery, the original clothes drying rack designed to hang in the kitchen, and an adjacent/separate 0.34 acre lot to the north of the property. See the photos here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust (FLWT) reopened outdoor tours June 11th, but decided to delay reopening indoor tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, despite receiving approval from the village of Oak Park to resume inside showings.
"We decided, to observe maximum caution, that we would wait on that tour until we have greater clarity in guidelines from the state," said Celeste Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright Trust president and CEO. "Some of the guidelines are very general and we don't want to take a step too quickly that people are not comfortable with or that we are not absolutely confident followed guidelines."
Due to COVID-19, all tours, including those taking place outdoors, are limited to eight guests only. Each group has one volunteer tour guide, bringing the total number of people to nine. All safety protocols and guidelines are available on the Trust's website. Ticket sales for guided neighborhood tours have opened. The open-air shops have also opened. Wright fans can purchase recorded audio tours if they prefer to tour the site exteriors in solitude. All ticket and shop sales are credit card only to minimize contact. The Trust brought back the "Pedal Oak Park" bicycle tour this year and will open a brand-new neighborhood walking tour June 20, called "Wright in the Neighborhood."
The Trust will offer the new tour only three days a week but plans to expand to more days. "We're very excited about this new tour," Adams said. More information here.
While the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy works on its plans for tours inside Fallingwater, the grounds have re-opened with self-guided and guided private tours. The iconic Frank Lloyd Wright home has been closed since March 15th because of covid-19 restrictions.
The Conservancy wants to give the public a chance to visit the architectural masterpiece in person on its grounds or virtually. Fallingwater is trying to continue fundraising efforts and providing virtual tours, at-home activities, online summer sessions, webinars, and more.
The WPC is projecting a significant revenue decrease in 2020 for Fallingwater because of the three-month closure. Social distancing practices will likely limit the capacity for visitors for the second half of the year. More here.
The Architect's Newspaper reports that the college formerly known as the School of Architecture at Taliesin will change its name and move summer classes to Paolo Soleri's Cosanti and Arcosanti, with plans to try to make Cosanti its permanent home.
The move comes after a protracted back-and-forth with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation that spilled out into public view earlier in January when the school announced it would be closing after 88 years. After an outpouring of support from alumni and funding commitments, the school reversed its vote to close at the beginning of March but will need to vacate both Taliesin campuses—in Scottsdale Arizona and in Spring Green, Wisconsin—and can no longer use the "Frank Lloyd Wright" or "Taliesin" name, though it will retain its accreditation and students. The last time the school changed its name was in 2017 after it split from the Foundation as part of the accreditation process, and after July 31 of this year, any remaining association will be formally severed. More on this story here.
Earlier this year, two students in the historic preservation program at PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania’s Design School, conducted in-depth, on-site research on the historic preservation of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mónica P. Ortiz Cortés, Assoc. AIA, a native of Puerto Rico, shares some of her findings and insight from the experience on the Foundation's blog, The Whirling Arrow. Read and see more here.
"Shangri-La," a large, multi-level home designed by John Lloyd Wright (1938 - 1940) is on the market. The second-oldest son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, John was not only an architect but the inventor of toys like the iconic Lincoln Logs. He lived and worked in Long Beach, Indiana, 60 miles from downtown Chicago, from 1923 until 1946, designing several homes in the area.
This home sits on a dune ridge overlooking nature with 14' window structures letting in the light and beauty of the outside. "Shangri-La" has been completely redone and updated. With views of Lake Michigan, easy access to the beach is only steps away. This Long Beach treasure is asking $1,585,000. See the photos here.
A four-bedroom, 4,732-square-foot house on 2.9 acres in Maywood, IL that was designed by architect and Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Studio associate John Van Bergen sold last Friday for $860,000. Built in 1914 on 2.9 acres along the Des Plaines River, the house, known as the Richard Cluever House after its first owner has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.
The $860,000 sale price was a long way from what the sellers, an opaque land trust, originally had asked for the house, which it purchased for $665,000 in 1999. The trust first listed it in late 2013 for $1.5 million and then slightly cut the asking price the following year to $1.485 million. It reduced the asking price again to $1.249 million in 2015 before taking it off the market. It relisted the property in August for $895,000.
Listing agent Eileen Campbell, of Jameson Sotheby’s, declined to share the identities of the seller or buyer, but told Elite Street that the buyer is from Chicago and “bought it for the combination of house and land. They appreciated how close these 3 acres were to Chicago,” Campbell said. “No need to drive to Wisconsin. They will love the house and property and not make any significant changes.” Read more [here.]
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has put out a request for a Summer 2020 Fundraising Appeal Matching Challenge. As stated on the FLWBC website:
"The moment Booth Cottage hit the market in late 2017, the Conservancy went on high alert. We knew this tiny 1913 Wright home in Glencoe, Illinois, was a teardown target. When it sold the next spring, our worst fears were confirmed: plans were already underway to replace it with a much larger home."
"The Conservancy took action and sounded the alarm via local and international media. We met with village leaders and rallied local preservation advocates. We nominated it to a statewide list of most endangered buildings and held challenging conversations with the new owner. As a last resort to avert an otherwise-unstoppable demolition, we issued a request for proposals to relocate the cottage. Fortunately, the Glencoe Historical Society will move the cottage to a new site this year, where it will be an educational resource for the community. The Conservancy’s emergency revolving fund paid part of the moving expenses to beat a six-month demolition delay."
"Booth Cottage has a bright future because the Conservancy was prepared to act quickly and decisively. Unfortunately, 20% of Wright’s built works have already been lost, and over half of those remaining have no legal protection. In this increasingly uncertain world, we don’t know what the next urgent threat will be—but we can’t face it without the steadfast support of members and donors like you."
"Like so many organizations, the necessary postponement of our major events this year has significantly impacted our annual operating budget. We understand that you may be affected too. But while our finances may be diminished, the threat to Wright’s remaining built works is not."
"If you are able, please make a special donation to the Conservancy’s summer fundraising appeal. Donations up to a total of $10,000 will be matched by a challenge grant from Conservancy Board member Marsha Shyer and her husband John, owners of the Brandes House."
Double your donation and help preserve Wright’s remaining buildings for generations to come here.