Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Posts tagged “Frank Lloyd Wright

Zeigler House – Frankfort KY (1909)

Frank Lloyd Wright Architect

509 Shelby Street, Frankfort KY

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This is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Kentucky built in his lifetime. Located in a residential neighborhood close to the Kentucky State Capital building, this Prairie style house is beautifully maintained. The front is visible from the street, and the contrast to the contemporary victorian counterparts on the block is striking.

Occupied as a private residence.

This is the 150th Frank Lloyd Wright building I have visited.

Turkel House and Garden (1955)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

2760 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit MI 48221

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The current owners have rescued the Dorothy Turkel House from near disintegration and oblivion.

I toured the house when it was for sale several years ago and I wanted to cry. It had been abandoned with the heat turned off in the middle of a Michigan winter. The toilets literally were cracked in half due to the water inside freezing. The water covered the floor and froze…creating mini ice rinks in the bathrooms. There were large cracks in the exterior walls, some of the wood paneling had water damage…I have to stop – as the memory of that day is too painful. I know, a little melodramatic, but it truly was sad. It was hard to imagine that anyone could actually rescue this treasure. A miracle happened. The current owners have slowly, purposefully, creatively and passionately rescued and restored this house. In fact with their garden ( dare I say ) they have made it better than it has ever been.

Originally the narrow Cherokee red concrete terrace and steps lead down to a grass lawn. Now the lawn has been replaced with an extension of the Cherokee red terrace. Along one side is a narrow pool with three bubbling fountains. Surrounding this extended terrace are multiple garden compositions, each with a unique personality, yet all work together. Interspersed are glass sculptures, silver balls-on-a-stick (my favorite) and a sculpture court with large wire spheres.

Inside, the two-story Music Room has been beautifully restored. The wood paneling looks great, and the owner’s art collection accents the space perfectly. I am happy to report that the toilets have been replaced and the bathroom floors are no longer covered with ice ( even after the last winter we had here in Detroit).

This is one of the most amazing comeback stories I have experienced – in architecture anyway.



Davis House – Exterior (1950)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

1119 Overlook Rd., Marion IN

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Visited October 27 2013

This Usonian “Tepee” is a large concrete block house with two long wings that angle out from the central tepee core. One of the bedroom wings was added a few years after the main house was built. It has cherokee red concrete floors with radiant heating scored in a parallelogram pattern.

The house is very visible from the street on a large wooded lot. It is only a 14 minute drive off of I-69 at exit 264.

I was very fortunate to have met the owner and was allowed inside to experience the interior. Click here to see my interior photos.

Dr. Richard Davis was a fellow in surgical training under Dr. Mayo and met Frank Lloyd Wright while Wright was at the Mayo clinic for inflamed gallbladder problems. You never know where you might meet future clients. Davis’ second wife, Madelyn Pugh was a writer for the I Love Lucy Show, and lived in the Wright house for a couple of years before they moved to California in 1966. There is a small Wrightian “Cottage” on the grounds which I was told where she did her writing.

(This is the 149th Frank Lloyd Wright building I have visited)

Davis House – Interior (1950)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

1119 Overlook Road, Marion IN

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Visited October 27 2013

Palmer House – Interiors (1950)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

227 Orchard Hills Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Aerial View and Directions

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Visited September 15-16, 2012

See my post “Palmer House – Exterior” for information on the property.

The interior dramatically changes personality as the light changes in the space. From morning light, afternoon light, evening light and then artificial light the spaces are transformed as time goes by. When the trees, lawn and natural gardens are in sunlight, the interiors takes a back seat as the windows and walls seemingly disappear and the beautiful natural hillside is the star. In the evening after the sun sets, the glass appears as black panels focusing attention inward to the interior. The integrated indirect lighting transforms the oil-finished cypress clad ceiling of the living room into a warm canopy focusing on the fireplace. The polished Cherokee red concrete floors subtly reflect the light from above. Wright’s Origami Chairs ( which are quite comfortable ) are placed around the living room focused on the fireplace. Built into a wall by the kitchen is the dining table surrounded by dining chairs ( which are not comfortable).

All of the interior walls come together at 60 or 120 degree angles, as the floor plan is organized on an equilateral triangle grid. This grid is implemented in the furniture as well, even the beds have 60 and 120 degree corners.

Palmer House – Exterior (1950) – revisited

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

227 Orchard Hills Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Aerial View and Directions

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Visited September 15-16, 2012

Look at my first Palmer House post from two years ago for a description of the building.

The Palmer House has been purchased from the Palmer family estate, and is now available for overnight rentals (when the new owner is not in town). The purchase agreement comes with a very strict preservation agreement. Since it was purchased from the original owner’s estate, and the preservation agreement is in effect, this is an incredible opportunity to “live” in an original Frank Lloyd Wright house. The experience is pure Wright, without any unfortunate “updates” that mar many Wright properties that have gone through multiple ownership changes over the years.

Although recuperating from a back injury and not prepared with my tripod, I could not pass up an invitation from some amazing friends to spend the night. I have documented the house in 3 separate posts showing the exterior, the interior and the tea house on the property.

Palmer House – Tea House (1964)

John Howe, Architect

227 Orchard Hills Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Aerial View and Directions

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Visited September 15-16, 2012

After visiting Japan, the Palmer’s planned a teahouse on their property sited down the hill from the main house. John Howe, the on-site Taliesin representative during construction of the main house, was the architect (Wright had passed away 5 years earlier).

The tea house uses the same materials and equilateral triangle grid as the main house. It includes a recessed sitting area and table for tea drinking, a fireplace, bed, and small kitchen and bathroom.

Meyer May House (1908)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

450 Madison Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI

Aerial view and Directions

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Photos taken July 7, 2012

I have visited the Meyer May House several times over many years. I remember seeing presentations by Steelcase during the extensive restoration.  As  Wright’s houses are aging, changing hands as original owners pass, and with the cost of maintaining these unique structures,  the current condition of many of them are unfortunate and in many cases sad. The Meyer May House restoration’s attention to minute detail, with what seemed to be no expense spared, has resulted in an amazing step back in time to when the house was newly constructed and lived in by the May family.

Less streamlined than the earlier 1906 Robie House in Chicago, this Prairie House still has plenty of details, drama, and amazing art glass in the unique living room window arrangement to make it well worth a visit. If you take the tour, check out the living room fireplace brickwork with the horizontal mortar joints accented with special reflective tiles.

The house is in the Heritage Hill Historic District in Grand Rapids which is still mostly residential. This is an opportunity to see the house in context with the surroundings when it was built. Look at the neighboring houses along the street and you can appreciate how “new” and different Wright’s designs were at the time.

The most impressive bit of information on the house: the tours are free of charge

Click here for the Meyer May House website

Lykes Residence (1959-66)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

6636 N. 36th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Aerial View and Directions

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“Wright’s last residential design to be built by the original client” – as identified in William Allin Storrer’s book The Architecture of Frank LLoyd Wright A Complete Catalog.

The design was sketched by Wright before his death in 1959, and Taliesin Fellow John Rattenbury supervised construction, which didn’t commence until 1966.

This pink block building gracefully arcs on the desert hillside above Phoenix. Clearly visible from the road, you can appreciate the mature work of Wright by taking a short roadtrip up 36th street from the city.

There are several Wright houses in the Phoenix area, but most are not very visible from the street. You can see the gate and part of the roof of the Harold Price Sr. house (1954) at 7211 Tatum. The David Wright House (1950) at 3212 E. Exeter had recently been purchased at the time of my visit, and was under renovation with a construction fence around the property. The Adelman Residence (1951) at 5802 N. 30th Street, is visible across a very large front lawn, but what I was able to see was not of great note (in my opinion). Next door is the Boomer Residence (1953) at 5808 N. 30th Street. Through the densely wooded yard you can just make out the roof from the street. The Carlson House (1950) at 1123 W. Palo Verde Dr. is a white paneled house with bright blue trim behind a block wall and blue metal fence. The carport is visible from the road, but the most prominent feature on site at the time of my visit was a classic red convertible.

After the roadtrip hunting down the Wright houses, even if just to catch a glimpse, I recommend a drink and dinner at Wright’s at the Biltmore, a fine food restaurant in the Arizona Biltmore (1927). See Traverse360 Restaurants for a description.

Taliesin West (1937)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 95261

Aerial View and Directions

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From the archives, Visited September 24, 2009

This is a “must see” destination for all Architecture Tourists – Frank Lloyd Wright’s own winter home and studio in Scottsdale AZ at the foot of the McDowell Mountains in the Arizona desert. Visiting you really can sense that it feels more like a camp than a permanent complex of buildings. As you would expect from Wright’s best buildings, the building is -as he would put it-  “of the site”, not on the site. With the inclusion of the native american petroglyphs at the entrance, and the native materials used in the “Desert Masonry” walls, it feels as though it has been there forever – and I hope it remains there for many more generations to experience in person. Photos do not capture that sense of place and discovery that you experience walking through in person (and I have seen hundreds if not thousands of photos of Taliesin West over the many years). Taliesin West houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and still teaches architecture to its “apprentices” at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

There are many types of tours available for Architectural Tourists. Check out the Taliesin West Tour Webpage for details.

I took the 3-hour Behind the Scenes Tour, but there are also less expensive 1-hour tours, 90 minute tours, and Night Light tours. Take your pick and I am sure you will not leave disapointed with any of them.

Not only is Taliesin West worth the trip to tour the complex, it also has a great bookstore and gift shop. The Frank Lloyd Wright Archives are also housed there for scholars and researchers to study the principles of Wright’s work. Checkout the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Website for details.

This is truly a working/living facility, not a mothballed museum behind plexiglas – come and experience it for yourself!

After exploring Taliesin West, I recommend you stay on theme and head to the Arizona Biltmore and relax over a drink and dinner at Wright’s at the Biltmore, a Traverse360Restaurant recommendation.

Gammage Memorial Auditorium (1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

Arizona State University

Apache Blvd. at Mill Ave. , Tempe AZ 85281

Aerial View and Map

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From the archives, visited September 27, 2009

This building was never a favorite of mine while studying Wright’s architecture in college. I was in Phoenix to visit Taliesin West, and while there I located and visited all of Wright’s buildings in the area. This building surprised me, and I left liking it. In person, there are interesting perspectives and almost frivolous details in the copper colored arches cascading down the ramps holding the simple white globe lights in copper colored rings. The pink lollypop colonnade still perplexes me, but the brick rotunda in the rear with its row of shallow arches (reminiscent of Saarinen’s chapel at MIT) was strong and well worth the stop.

A Place to Stay:

On this trip I stayed at the aLoft in Tempe. Convenient with a cool vibe. Check it out on Traverse360 Hotels.

Smith House (1946)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

5045 Pon Valley Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Aerial View and Map

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Photos taken January 7, 2012

The Smith House is a great example of Wright’s Usonian Houses. It is a more refined version of the first Jacobs House in Madison. Situated in the upscale Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, this rather modest house is surrounded by huge mansions of the more traditional style.

The low, horizontal composition hugs the earth and extends across the site with the brick garden walls. The owner’s large scale sculpture collection still graces the grounds and provides a nice visual break from the otherwise austentatious bigger than big neighbors.

This house is visible from the street, with a complete view of the front and north side facades across the lawn. The Smith House gives you a clear view of a pristine example his Usonian House concept. Well worth the trip if you are in the area. It is just down the street from the Cranbrook Educational Community with it’s original Saarinen designed campus, and close by is Wright’s Affleck House.

Bartlesville Community Center (1982)

William Wesley Peters, Taliesin Associated Architects

300 SE Adams Blvd., Bartlesville, OK 74003

Aerial View and Map

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From the Archives, Photos from October 17 and 19, 2004

Appearing like a giant, permanent circus tent, the Bartlesville Community Center is a 1,700 seat performing arts auditorium designed by William Wesley Peters. The main facade is orientated to face the Price Tower diagonally across the street. This orientation I venture to say is in homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, the Price Tower’s genius architect, from William Wesley Peters who was a long time member of Wright’s senior staff.

The link between this building and Wright’s architecture is clear. There are references to the Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa WI, and the Grady Gammage Auditorium in Tempe AZ.

This is not surprising, as following Wright’s death, Peters became the head of Taliesin Associated Architects, and became chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation following Olgivanna Lloyd Wright’s death in 1985.

Bartlesville Community Center Web Site

Price Tower (1952)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

510 Dewey Avenue, Bartlesville, OK 74003

Aerial View and Map

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From my archives, Photos from October 17 and 19th, 2004; and November 16, 2008

One of my favorite buildings, anywhere, anytime, by any architect.

I have visited the Price Tower 3 times, and it has never disappointed, in fact each time I visit I see something new and appreciate it more.

Originally the Tower was conceived as a mixed use “skyscraper” for the Price Company, with offices, apartments and retail space. It still functions as a mixed-use tower, but with some different uses.  It is currently houses a gallery, gift shop and arts center on the first and second floors, offices and a boutique hotel in the tower, and a restaurant and bar near the top. Mr. Price’s office on the top floor ( and the rest of the building infact ) is a museum open to the public for tours.

The reinforced concrete structure of the building is concentrated in the core area of the building, with the floor plates cantilevered out from the building’s core. Wright compares the structure of the tower to that of a tree, and calls the tower “the tree that escaped the crowded forest”. There is a tap root foundation, the building core or trunk rises up and the floors are cantilevered out like the branches of a tree. The curtainwall system is applied to the edge of the floor slabs with a series of horizontal and vertical copper sunscreens providing both shade, and a complex facade design which makes each side of the building appear unique.

To appreciate how exceptional and complex this building is, you should study the floor plans. The integration of the various uses in really small floor plates is complex. The apartments are two story spaces, with the second floor angled across as a mezzanine overlooking the living area. This not only provides a dramatic two story space for the living room, but also creates an intimate exterior balcony for the bedroom as the angled mezzanine continues beyond the curtainwall in the corner. Private offices are located in the other 3 quadrants of the tower floors.

The design and construction of the building is documented in a book by Frank Lloyd Wright called “The Story of the Tower” (Horizon Press 1956). If you can get a copy of this book, you will be able to understand the design through drawings, construction photographs, and Wright’s own words describing his intentions with the design.

The last two times I visited, the Inn at Price Tower was open and I was able to stay over night in the tower. I highly recommend it. The two story apartments are available as suites, with some of the offices converted into guest rooms as well. There is nothing like spending a few days in the building. You can go on the tour, see what exhibit is in the gallery, have a drink and dinner in the 15th floor Copper Bar, and watch the sunset over the Oklahoma plains through the two story windows in the living room of your apartment hotel suite.

The Price Tower Arts Center

Richard Lloyd Jones House “Westhope” (1929)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

Richard Lloyd Jones House

3700 South Birmingham Avenue, Tulsa, OK

Aerial View and Map

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From my Archives, Photos taken October 19, 2004 and November 14, 2008

I am taking the time to go through my archives and posting some of the buildings I have visited prior starting this blog. While some of the photographs are taken with early low-resolution digital cameras, hopefully they capture the general feeling of the buildings…prompting a visit of your own.

This Frank Lloyd Wright house I always thought was a little odd based on the published photos and floor plans in the multiple books surveying Wright’s work. It is a large house (over 10,000 sq. ft.) and wraps around a courtyard with a swimming pool. Built on a corner lot, the house it very visible from the street on two sides. Richard Lloud Jones was Frank Lloyd Wright’s cousin and publisher of the Tulsa Tribune.

The scale of the house  is very deceptive due to the block and window configuration. There is no clear reference for height and floor separation. The photos published in the book  “In the Nature of Materials” ( by Hitchcock 1942, images 297-302 ) were my main reference prior to my visit. The black and white photos taken just after construction (prior to any landscaping) show a stark, brutalist, severe composition. In reality, the house is warm,  interesting, and with the mature landscaping actually fits into the traditional neighborhood better than expected.

As has happened frequently while walking around photographing Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, an occasional neighbor will come out and start sharing their antidotes and experiences with Wright. In this case, an elderly neighbor followed me around and told me that when the house was built there were no trees at all on the lot (as can be confirmed in the Hitchcock book). He said that Wright stood on the porch of the house and had a sack of potatoes. He  took a handfull of potatoes and tossed them into the front yard and told the owner to plant tress where the potatoes landed. The mature trees in the front yard he told me as he pointed to each of them one by one, were planted exactly where the pototoes landed. Wright seems to attract all sorts of stories that are repeated at many of his buildings. Most of them relate to leaking roofs, this was the first time I heard one relating to potatoes.

The blocks form piers, with the glass set back from the face of the block. You can see “through” the house to the courtyard beyond in many cases. The house really feels like an arrangement of piers with a roof,  rather than a wall with windows. The all glass compositions at the ends of the wings (referenced as aviaries in one plan I recall) add a lightness to the otherwise heavy, closely spaced piers.

Tulsa Preservation Commission Webpage on House

Affleck House (1941)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

1925 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Aerial View and Map

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Photos taken October 29, 2011

The Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck House is a great early example of Wright’s Usonian Houses. A model of the house was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York before it was constructed. It is in very good condition after several restoration projects undertaken by The Friends of the Affleck House and Lawrence Technological Univeristy’s School of Architecture which owns the structure.

I have been to the house many times since my college days. I was in the area late saturday afternoon and thought I would stop by and snap a few photos. The recent Chrysler commercial which features the house must have been in the back of my mind as I drove down Woodward Avenue.  If you respect the owner’s of the adjacent houses, you can easily view the house from all sides from the drive that loops the house. I will go back after all the leaves are off the trees to get some additional photos featuring the cantilevered living room and deck. The University does provide tours of the house (see attached links). I thought it was interesting that I found a 1948 Oldsmobile TV commercial online that featured the house as well (see attached link to view). Look for a post of the nearby Smith House by Frank Lloyd Wright in the coming days. I stopped there following my visit to the Affleck House.

1948 Futuramic Oldsmobile TV Advertisement featuring the Affleck House

LTU’s Web Page of House

Tour Brochure

Exhibit Catalog– which contains copies of some of Wright’s drawings for the house and early B&W photos of the house and interiors

Alden B. Dow Home and Studio (1933-41)

Alden B. Dow Architect

315 Post Street., Midland MI 48640

Aerial View and Map

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Last Visit – April 21, 2012

Photos taken September 24, 2011

Architect Alden B. Dow is the son of Herbert Dow, the founder of the Dow Chemical Company. Alden returned from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in 1933 after an 8 month apprenticeship and set up his architectural practice in Midland. He immediately began designing his studio, and constructed it in several phases through 1937. His own house was added to the complex between 1939-41. The Complex has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Unit Blocks, a Dow creation, are composed in a dramatic arrangement that towers up in the center of the building, and gently cascades down to the pond’s edge, and  extends out as stepping stones into the pond. The composition is tied together with a low copper roof that hovers over the blocks diagonally and dissolves into an open trellis. The conference room that projects out into the pond is nicknamed the “Submarine Room” as it’s floor is 18 inches below the water level. The view of the studio from across the pond, is the signature view which embodies Dow’s statement “…Gardens never end, and buildings never begin…”.

Alden and his wife Vada’s house, behind the studio, is also constructed of his signature Unit Blocks and is built at the edge of the pond. Overall the house is not as dramatic from the exterior as the studio, but is beautiful in it’s own right. There is a screened porch that projects out beyond the blockwall above the pond. The interior provides a very spacious, creative living space, well ahead of its time.

I highly recommend a visit- just the view of the studio from across the pond is one of those seminal architectural experiences that inspires and validates architecture as art – a Masterpiece.

Click for link to the Home and Studio website

Feiman House (1954)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

452 Santa Clara Dr., NW, Canton, OH 44709

Map and Aerial View

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Visited June 1, 2011

The north side of this inline plan Usonian house is very visible from the public street. The low slung flat roofed house and carport hug the site with a raised flat roof over the living room with unusually tall clerestory windows. The clerestory windows do not have the decorative plywood screens, but the low band of windows have the unique decorative plywood screens covering them. The brick wall extension shielding the private yard from the street also has an open abstract design in the brickwork.

Unfortunately, the brickwork has undergone extensive reworking or repointing with mortar that does not match the original mortar. These patches are obvious and are all over the wall and carport piers, but I guess the alternate of a crumbling wall and carport would have been much less desirable.

This is the 145th Frank Lloyd Wright Building I have visited (but who is counting…?).

A block away is Wright’s  Rubin House (1953). This house is not sufficiently visible from the street to warrant drive-by if you are looking for photos, at least in the summer with the heavily wooded lot fully “leafed out”.  (The 146th FLLW Building I have visited).

A little over a mile away is Wright’s Dobkins House (1953). This house, althought set back quite a distance from the road, is visible from the street if you look over the wide expanse of well manicured lawn between the trees. (The 147th FLLW Building I have visited).

Weltzheimer House (1948)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

534 Morgan Street, Oberlin OH 44074

Aerial View

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From my Archives (visited 09/21/08)

The Weltzheimer House is the first Usonian house built in Ohio. It is an example of Wright’s L-shaped Usonian plan and is based on a 2’x4′ organizational grid. It has a radiant heating system within the red stained concrete floor slab.  The masonry mass contains the  “workspace” (kitchen) areas and fireplaces. The other walls are made of redwood board and batten construction and large floor to ceiling windows and french doors opening the rooms to the terrace and great lawn.

After undergoing unsympathetic renovations by a subsequent owner, an Art History Professor at Oberlin bought the house and restored it during her ownership.   The house is now owned by the Oberlin College Allen Memorial Art Museum and is open to the public twice a month. The museum has posted additional photos on its  Flicker site. The house has many pieces of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture, and provides visitors with an excellent example of what living in a Usonian house is like. You can walk around the house and really take in all of the details and experience the unique quality of the spaces.

While in Oberlin, visit the Allen Memorial Art Museum with an addition by Robert Venturi.

Palmer House (1950)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

227 Orchard Hills Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Aerial View

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I recently came across this website for the Palmer House which is now available for weekend or weeklong rental. Along with photos and information, there is this video with a tour.  It was set up by the new owner of the house who purchased it from the Palmer Family.  I decided to look at a few of the snapshots of the exterior I took while the house was for sale – and have posted them here.  I toured the house with potential buyers who had owned a Frank Lloyd House on the west side of the state, and were interested in something closer to the Detroit area. I have no interior photos respecting the “no photos” request once we were let inside.  Luckly, the interior has been photographed professionally and the photos show up in the many Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House books. Also, the realtor’s website is still up (as of today anyway) with a series of interior photos including rooms not usually published.

The Palmer House was the first Frank Lloyd Wright house I visited. My first visit was while I was in High School. The Palmer’s had the house open for the Ann Arbor Women’s Club House Tour. I skipped class and stood in line with a group of  ladies from the Ann Arbor Women’s Club. I think I was the youngest person in line by at least 30 years. The line slowly worked its way up the gravel drive, past the carport, and up the wide angled stairs to the front door. I remember next to the door there was a large shallow dish on the floor with a bird of paradise flower in front of a large floor to ceiling window. Simple, beautiful, and unusual. This glazing had a 30 degree angle with a glass to glass miter joint. I had never seen a window with a mitered joint like this. I was fascinated. Once inside, I experienced the magic of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture for the first time. The low roof at the entry compresses the space, and then after a carefully orchestrated path to the living room, the space opens up with the trangular ceiling lifted over the living room. The house  is layed out on an equlateral triagular grid. All of the walls come together at either 60 or 120 degree angles. This includes the masonry walls which use specially manufactured brick for the corners. I destinctly remember a woman telling her friend as they walked through the living room french doors to the natural garden path toward the tea house “It is an interesting house, but I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live here”. I was thinking to myself that I could imagine what their homes were like, and I could not imagine anyone wanting to live in their homes!  As a young high school student taking drafting courses, this visit was one of those memorable milestones which inspired me to become an architect.

Boswell House (1957)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

8805 Camargo Club Drive, Indian Hill, OH 45243

Aerial View Map

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With the leaves off the trees, you can look down into the entry court from the road and get a feeling of the overall layout. In the summer I believe it would be difficult to see anything from the road. The Cincinnati Enquirer posted a narrated slideshow of the house with additional views of the exterior, as well as the interior. This home was on the market for $3.4 million in 2008. The house is in great condition based on photos taken while it was on the market. The kitchen was very sympathetically renovated by Architect John C. Senhauser.

The carport appears to be an addition not by Wright. This is just a gut reaction, as it does not “feel” original to me. It is a separate pavillion with an independent roof,  not an extension of the main house’s hipped roof. The intermediate brick columns are too small and just their existance seems odd.  These vertical “sticks” visually breakup the strong, low horizontal line prominent in the rest of this design.  I would have expected no columns here, providing the gravity defying “floating” feeling of so many other Wright carport roofs (and it is fairly simple to span a two-car space without requiring an intermediate column). I could be wrong, but…..

Many aspects of this house are very similar to the Carl Schultz House in St. Joseph, MI (1957). These are very large, expensive and expansive structures for wealthy clients that Wright designed in his final years. Many of his earlier Usonian homes were of more modest scope (in both size and expense) and used only wood for the ceiling finishes. These later Wright homes are a curious combination of  his Usonian and earlier Prairie style homes. Here Wright has reintroduced plaster ceilings with light colored finishes similar to his great prairie style rooms. This change provides a lighter feel in these large rooms compared to the more cabin-like feeling of the smaller wood sheathed ceilings of the typical Usonian homes.

This is the 144th Frank Lloyd Wright Building I have visited (but who’s counting?).

Boulter House (1954)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

1 Rawson Woods Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Aerial View Map

Angled on a steep corner lot, this house overlooks the house across the street into the Rawson Wood Preserve. Although located in a fairly typical upscale neighborhood subdivision, the Preserve partially surrounds this neighborhood. With the natural planting of the front yard instead of the typical lawn, and the proximity of the Preserve, this house retains the feel of the typically more isolated Usonian house settings.

Complete Photo Archive Here.

This is the 143rd Frank Lloyd Wright Building I have visited (but who’s counting?).