Most people think of Lake Erie as a summer destination, but there's beauty along the shores, especially at Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff in Derby, New York.
It was built as a summer getaway for Darwin and Isabelle Martin, but you can experience some unique views during a wintertime visit. There are special winter tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays now through March.
"A visit, no matter what time of year, is interesting because the view is never boring," executive director Anna Kaplan said. "This property is all about the lake. I think it's really magical when there's a light dusting of snow and you see the red cedar shingle rooftops covered in snow."
The property embraces Wright's vision of uniting his architecture with the natural surroundings.
"He's perfectly framing all of the views. He's trying to ensure that the feeling on the interior communicates with the exterior. There are places in the house where he wanted it to feel like you were outside even though you were inside. There's a quote saying he wanted it to feel like coming inside and putting on your hat and your coat," Kaplan said.
You'll also get to check out the upstairs during the winter tours — something that's usually only featured on the extended tour during the summer.
"One of my very favorite parts of the property is the second floor hallway. It's a really special place where you can understand the transparency of the building," said Kaplan.
Even when nature's palette is a bit somber, there's a warmth between these walls.
"You get a sense of the lighting for example, this very warm light that he achieved through amber colored glass and this warm buttercream color of the walls. You're always going to experience something different no matter what's going on outside," Kaplan said.
Last year Graycliff saw visitors from every state, except North Dakota, and visitors from six continents.
"Another great thing about the winter tour is that you'll likely be with fewer other guests, so it's a more intimate experience," said Kaplan.
Winter tours are at a discounted rate of $25 each plus handling. They're held Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. You do need to register ahead of time.
Pieces by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Charles and Ray Eames are included in this roundup of modernist furniture designed by architects working in the 20th century.
Many of the architects whose work is featured in Dezeen turned their hand to furniture design after training in architecture.
For some, it was a career change, while others treated it as an addition to their architecture work, opting to design some of the furnishings for the homes they were building.
After making an impact on 20th-century design, some of the furniture pieces are still in production and recognizable today, while others have influenced contemporary designers and manufacturers to reinterpret them for modern-day customers.
One to note is the Racine Collection by Frank Lloyd Wright and Steelcase (1939).
American company Steelcase used archival designs by architect Wright to create the Racine Collection of furniture, which includes desks and office chairs.
Steelcase looked to furniture designed by Wright for his SC Johnson Administration building, completed in 1939 and located in the town of Racine, Wisconsin.
As part of Dezeen's review of 2023, their readers named the Racine Collection the best furniture design of the year.
So many iconic furniture pieces by famous designers are rightfully included in this collection.
A renovated home in Worthington, Ohio's historic Rush Creek Village neighborhood has hit the market, offering something different for central Ohio home buyers.
The home, on White Oak Place, was built in 1959, one of the first of 50 homes eventually built in the neighborhood, all designed in Frank Lloyd Wright's "Usonian" style.
The 2,187-square-foot home reflects features that would become Rush Creek trademarks: a low profile that hugs the earth, exposed concrete block and brick (outside and in), red tile floors, wide roof overhangs, built-in furniture, floor-to-ceiling windows, wood ceilings, an extensive patio, a carport instead of a garage, and an angled setting off the street.
The four-bedroom home has been listed for $875,000 by Brian Kemp with Keller Williams Capital Partners. The home has been extensively remodeled, including an addition (a rarity for Rush Creek homes) by William Alsnauer and Karen Asmus-Alsnauer, who bought the home in 2008.
"The place was kind of a dive when we bought it," Karen recalled. "We saw past that, we saw the wonderful possibilities."
The couple were enchanted by the style and setting of Rush Creek, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The architecture, most of all, is just beautiful," Karen said. "We love the Usonian architecture, the relationship of the house to the land. It's almost a seamless interface between what’s going on inside and outside the house."
But the home needed work. The kitchen was especially small by today's standards. "We removed the back end of the house and expanded the kitchen and added a dining area," she said.
Working with an architect in the neighborhood, the couple honored the home's architectural pedigree by sourcing materials used when the home was built including Motawi tile and vintage mahogany and cypress.
The couple added design touches of their own including custom two fireplace screens made by Fortin Ironworks in Columbus, one modeled after a gate at Wright's Taliesin West complex in Arizona and the other designed to match screen doors in the home.
Rush Creek homes have historically been rare on the market, but in the last two years, seven have changed hands, ranging from $690,000 to $1.28 million, according to Zillow.
The Alsnauers, both in their mid-60s, are moving to a low-maintenance condominium, but will miss their bit of architectural history.
"It's with sadness and joy that we pass it along to the next person," Karen said. "It was a privilege to live there, and we hope people love it and enjoy it as much as we have."
“When I first encountered Wright’s work as an eight-year-old boy, it was the space and the light that got me all excited,” says Stuart Graff in the Architectural Digest video. “I now understand why that gives us the feeling that it does, why we feel different in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. That’s because he uses space and light to create this sense of intimacy with the world around us. While Tirranna was being built, Wright was in New York City working on his largest commission, the Guggenheim Museum,” says Graff. Also known as the Rayward–Shepherd House, Tirranna is certainly less widely known than the Guggenheim, and indeed, less widely known than some of Wright’s other residential work.
But as his private houses go, Tirranna’s “setting rivals even perhaps Wright’s most famous work, Fallingwater, in the way that house engages nature.” Built along a curve that “follows the movement of the sun through the day” and textured with contrasting concrete block and Philippine mahogany — not to mention plenty of glass through which to take in the landscape outside — it stands as a rich example of late Wright.
And rich is what you’d better be if you want to live it: according to a notice published in Architectural Digest, Tirranna went on the market last year for an asking price of $8 million. Its 7,000 square feet make it one of Wright’s “largest and most expansive residential projects”; the “low-slung main home is designed in a hemicycle style — a uniquely Wright shape — and features seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a rooftop observatory, and a wine cellar that has been converted into a bomb shelter.” It even boasts the distinction of Wright himself having stayed there, during the time he was still working on the Guggenheim.