Lacey Sikora informs her readers that when powerful storms swept through Oak Park on Tuesday, April 4 the Peter A. Beachy House, remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1906, lost two trees that were nearly as old as the house.
Homeowners Carollina Song and Alec Harris say a large catalpa tree fell on their roof, and a magnolia tree fell in the yard. They aren’t sure exactly how old the trees were but estimate that both were well over 100 years old. Harris says, “I think the catalpa was almost 130 years old. It may pre-date the house.”
Song and Harris were at the tail end of a renovation process in which they were restoring the roof to its original clay tile. The project, which began over a year ago, involved reinforcing the roof and structures of the house to support over 30 pallets of tile that weighed in at 2,700 pounds each.
The weight of the tree cracked some tiles and lowered the roof but the couple say they were lucky the roof was not punctured. Worse than the damage to the new roof is the loss of trees that were important parts of their family.
Song notes, “It could have been catastrophic damage if the work hadn’t been finished. I guess you could file this under things could always be worse?” More here.
By 1941, the year Pope-Leighey House was completed, Frank Lloyd Wright had studied Japan for almost a half-century. He had become a serious collector of woodblock prints—even writing a book on the subject in 1912—and had won acclaim for his design of the Imperial Hotel, one of the few buildings in Tokyo to survive the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
On this special tour, May 21, 2023 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., visitors will discover how the famous American architect incorporated his love of Japanese art, architecture, and philosophy into Usonian homes, and how this East Asian influence shines in Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. More information here.
Shayndel Valles, Staff Writer and Photographer for the Observer, has provided a gallery of photographs of the Muirhead Farmhouse. Located in a rural setting just northwest of Chicago, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead Farmhouse is the only known farmhouse designed and built during Wright's lifetime.
The 3,200 sq. ft. home is an example of Wright's Usonian architecture. Designed by Wright in 1950 and constructed between 1951 and 1953, the Farmhouse underwent an extensive restoration in 2003 and now remains in the care of the Muirhead family. The Farmhouse has been recognized by Kane County, the State of Illinois and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The home is open for tours on select dates each month from April through October. Click here. to see the photos.
The famous Kellogg Doolittle estate in Joshua Tree, CA, is available for the first time as an Airbnb Luxe exclusive. The Joshua Tree home is worth every cent.
Architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, now 89, was an innovator of organic architecture and spent five years crafting this home along with artist, craftsman and interior designer John Vugrin who then spent 14 years working on many of the home’s custom details. Organic architecture is a term coined by Frank Lloyd Wright, of whom Kellogg was a protegé, and refers to the concept of buildings harmonizing with the natural world. Kellogg was related to Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for landscape architecture standouts like New York’s Central Park.
This incredible 5,000 square-foot Airbnb known as the High Desert House was originally built by Kellogg for Western watercolor artist Bev Doolittle and is a wild and surprising structure embedded within the site’s bouldered hillside. Without walls, the structure succeeds with 26 concrete columns which burrow seven feet into the bedrock. Dwell magazine says, “The lower solid, concrete portion brings to mind elements of Native American adobe pueblos, while the sculptural form of the upper section conjures images of dinosaur fossils or spaceships.” Click here for more.