Thread Number: 70308  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
An Untouched Frank Lloyd Wright House Is For Sale
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Post# 932274   4/13/2017 at 23:37 (191 days old) by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Post# 932283 , Reply# 1   4/14/2017 at 02:56 (191 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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It's beautiful ... I would be so happy living in it.  

Post# 932308 , Reply# 2   4/14/2017 at 04:43 (191 days old) by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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It's beautiful indeed! I might end up your doorstep sometine then Pete!

Post# 932334 , Reply# 3   4/14/2017 at 06:24 (191 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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It looks amazing!

Post# 932338 , Reply# 4   4/14/2017 at 07:07 (191 days old) by wilkinsservis (Melbourne Australia)        
That was the end of a very long career

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Although he was a very old man by then it some how feels to be authentic

Post# 932340 , Reply# 5   4/14/2017 at 07:33 (191 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

They should have kept the marine polyurethane on the wood in the bath. The kitchen has been extensively updated, appliance-wise.

Post# 932347 , Reply# 6   4/14/2017 at 09:38 (191 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
$1.395 million

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The price is a steal. Some folks ask that much for updated Eichlers and Eichler recreations.

Post# 932354 , Reply# 7   4/14/2017 at 10:23 (191 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Good Grief!

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3 bedroom, 2 bath tract homes built in the 1960's sell for at least that in my hometown of San Jose...usually more. 

Post# 932488 , Reply# 8   4/15/2017 at 01:08 (190 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I don't know why but looking at the pictures the house has an odd church like feel to me.


The heating bills in MN must be out of site on this house with all he glass and the brick.  I'm sure the brick adds mass and carries heat from the fall into winter, but by Feb or March it must be radiating cold...

Post# 932510 , Reply# 9   4/15/2017 at 09:23 (190 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Am I correct in guessing that's an Asko washer & dryer in the kitchen?  Would this house had originally a Spacemates or similar undercounter washer & dryer? 

Post# 932522 , Reply# 10   4/15/2017 at 10:54 (190 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Post# 932534 , Reply# 11   4/15/2017 at 12:28 (190 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
The placement of the kitchen is classic 1950s-1960s

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Specifically, the cook is out of sight of the rest of the living area.

Sure would be interesting to see how Wright would interpret the open kitchen/family room/great room concept that began to take hold in the late 1970s.

Post# 932938 , Reply# 12   4/17/2017 at 13:22 (188 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Glass half-empty types

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So I posted a link to the listing on a writers' bulletin board and most of the replies are complaints about heating the place.

Some people . . .


Post# 932960 , Reply# 13   4/17/2017 at 17:00 (188 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Frank Lloyd Wright

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You are correct Bob, series circa 2005ish, although the colourway looks like its been paint swatched...

Post# 933001 , Reply# 14   4/17/2017 at 19:25 (187 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I agree with Matt - it looks a great deal like a modern-style church.

Post# 933003 , Reply# 15   4/17/2017 at 19:36 (187 days old) by Travis ()        



I can't agree with you enough.  Some people just want to bitch.  It's a beautiful house for the right person.

Post# 933007 , Reply# 16   4/17/2017 at 19:56 (187 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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My dad was the type that would rail on how cathedral ceilings etc would drive up the heating costs. Funny thing though our house is quite economical to heat (hydronic) compared to what some of our neighbors and friends are paying monthly and we don't turn the heat down, it's at 72 all winter.  I even compared our gas bill to my parents house with gas forced air and which is smaller and conventional ceiling heights and ours was still less. And my dad made sure the house was well insultated, he worked for Fiberglas after all, every inch of ductwork was insulated, extra vents in the roof, extra insulation. 

Post# 933149 , Reply# 17   4/18/2017 at 14:29 (187 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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Modern church like? I could see that. I also see this instance as a somewhat extreme version of FLW signature features: low slung angled flat roof, wide roof overhangs, ground to ceiling exterior glass, custom and built-in furnishings that sort of lock the inhabitants into a certain way of living.

It's sort of a love it, or hate it, or be indifferent thing... and anyone who buys it should have already decided they love it.

Not that the FLW vision of how people should live is a bad thing. It just might not be for everyone.

I probably could live in one of these, but it would take some adjustment and lifestyle changes. The full basement is an attractive feature: a place where a washer collection could go, or all that junk you don't want on display upstairs

Post# 933407 , Reply# 18   4/19/2017 at 18:02 (186 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
F.L. Wright homes

In August 2013 I visited the Rosenbaum house in Florence, AL.

I'd like to go back the next time I'm in that area, as I wasn't feeling very well the day I was there.

I do remember a Frigidaire range (early-mid 50's) that was Aztec Copper. I told the person giving the tour that it had been refinished and was not the original color, but he was adamant that it came that way when new. I wish I could have got the model # off it, but it was not from '59 or later.


Post# 933439 , Reply# 19   4/19/2017 at 20:28 (185 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Rosenbaum House

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The original part was built in 1939-40. Later addition with a larger kitchen was added in 1948. Found some pictures of the kitchen. I guess the cabinets may be from 1948. I doubt the countertop is. Obviously the fridge is a modern unit even though its been painted brown to match the cabinets. Has a modern black dishwasher. And the Frigidaire range is a 1956. The Rosenbaum's lived in it until 1999. The city of Florence, AL then acquired it and restored it. According to the website it is "meticulously" preserved. I can see wanting to keep the range. But whoever was in charge could have done a better job on getting a fridge and dishwasher from the same time period. They were probably the ones in the house when the city got it and they just left it that way.

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Post# 933454 , Reply# 20   4/19/2017 at 23:11 (185 days old) by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
He was such a genius at

First considering the plot of land a house was going to be placed on, and then designing a home to complement the contour of that unique piece of land. That home totally depends upon that unique piece of land for its beauty, and would not be as stunning on a typical flat suburban lot.

Most people and architects do the opposite of FLW -- they design their house to look like they want it to look like in the abstract, and then stick it on the lot whether it looks good there or not.

Originally that home was probably heated radiant style with hot water pumped through the slab floor so it would not feel cold and drafty. FLW did not believe in basements -- although the Dana Thomas FLW house in Springfield, IL has one (with a bowling alley). His interior walls were solid, comprised of the same building materials as the rest of the house, and integral to the structure. No pedestrian hollow plastered or drywall walls for him, so forced air heat with ductwork was not an option. But in many of his Usonian homes, that slab plumbing has long since worn out, and people don't want to tear up the original slab floor to fix it, so they resort to heating with electric baseboard heaters. The same considerations make it difficult if not impossible to air condition one of his Usonian homes too. When he was designing Usonian homes, air conditioning was not common yet. They are stunningly beautiful and ingenious homes, but in some respects impractical or challenging for everyday life as we know it.

Hopefully this wasn't too much of a crashing bore for those who already know all these things. :-/

Such a joy to see a FLW house kept original inside!

I wish he could have lived and designed buildings and homes forever.

Post# 933455 , Reply# 21   4/19/2017 at 23:15 (185 days old) by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        

There is some kind of a vent in the kitchen ceiling -- looks like return air for a forced air system....

Does anybody know about this particular house?

The way he designed the natural light in that kitchen is sheer genius!

Post# 933456 , Reply# 22   4/19/2017 at 23:20 (185 days old) by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
Sorry. :-/

Should have read the article first. This one does have a basement, so prob does have forced air.

Post# 933588 , Reply# 23   4/20/2017 at 19:08 (184 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Thanks Ken!

for the additional information. I remember the range was a pre '57 model but couldn't remember what the control panel looked like. I do remember the sink and faucet were rather new. I do recall the kitchen as being rather dark.

I'm sure I'd remember more about it if I had felt well when I was there. I went on to Mississippi the next day, and just didn't feel right the whole trip. Ended up going to the ER as soon as I got back into Cincinnati. Found out my sodium and potassium were all out of whack.

Post# 933701 , Reply# 24   4/21/2017 at 12:02 (184 days old) by Davey7 (Chicago)        

FLW houses are notoriously hard to heat - he was intransigent about insulation, double-glazing, etc and insisted he knew best (read, for instance, "The Natural House" where he says stuff like that*). While radiant heat is great when engineered correctly, he often didn't engineer it properly and didn't allow contractors to adjust the design to heat better. When the builders insisted it would get done right. His first solar houses were awful too - the Kecks did it way better (Keck & Keck, Chicago area modernists & solar pioneers, almost as prolific as FLW but not as well known - they did almost exclusively large suburban & rural houses).

He would do AC when forced to or the budget allowed - I believe (but not 100% certain) that Wingspread - the Johnson residence north of Racine - had it from day one. It's bigger problem was the leaky skylights. This one is open to the public and if you visit, you'll get the story of Hib Johnson calling up Ole' Frankie at Taleisin West during a dinner party in the presence of the Governor of Wisconsin and one of the state senators to complain about the leak... It's a free tour (with reservations required) and you can do with with the SC Johnson HQ that he designed - you get to see the research tower now too.

One wonders what he would have made of "open plan" or open concept - he always (or usually/often) tucked the kitchens away as "workspaces" in a rather misogynist manner. And they were often too small to boot.

I've been in several of his houses (most recently a very large and expensive one in the North Shore of Chicago) and they can be incredible - genius even - but difficult to live with because of that. This one looks so impeccably maintained that keeping it that way should be easy.

* He had the right idea at the Robie House, but it wasn't fully installed or designed - Reynor Banham talks about this in his book "The Well-Tempered Environment" however, others argue that he is incorrect. There was a well or pocket under the south facing windows (which are shielded perfectly from summer sun) which had a steam pipe installed but not "radiator" or convector which would have washed the windows with heat (the north windows, not to the floor, have radiators concealed under them) and the house required big, honking free-standing radiators to be installed to heat the main rooms.

Post# 933708 , Reply# 25   4/21/2017 at 12:46 (184 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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I love FLW designs, but with that said.  As much as I admire the architecture, sometimes he didn't think the functionality through.  I don't know about private houses, but most of his commercial building leaked like a  colluder. 


The Johnson Wax building comes to mind.  I love the design, but the lilly pad lighting must have been a predictor for the building itself, because they couldn't stop the leaks with a train load of Flex seal.


Here locally the WSU campus has the FLW Corbin Education building.  Though the building was originally designed for Saudi Arabia may be a clue as to not using a flat roof with walk ways in Kansas.  FLW did donate the design to WSU and it was built in 1964. 


Again I absolutely love the building, unless I was sitting in a classroom at 2:30 in the afternoon with the sun scorching through the 10 ft high wall of windows.  The ventilation system that perpetually smells of swamp gas and mold is always inviting.  So you have to look past that and marvel at the straight line, minimalistic, spacious design.


Another problem WSU had with the Corbin Building is that FLW society maintains control of the architecture.  The owners must seek permission from the society to do any modifications, down to the shape of the bushes to the number of fishes in the fountain.  When the university decided to attempt a remedy for the glairing sun in afternoon classrooms, it took nearly three years for the society to approve the installation of the sun screens that helped, but did not alleviate the problem.  Curtains and drapes are/were not allowed.




Post# 933723 , Reply# 26   4/21/2017 at 13:57 (184 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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As beautiful as his design work is and as much as I might admire it holding form over function is BS IMO.

Post# 933728 , Reply# 27   4/21/2017 at 14:31 (184 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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One thing I noticed with the FLW home featured in the OP, is that its window designs, such as the slit like vertical windows and high horizontal slit windows, appear to share a design motif with maximum security prisons.

Post# 941421 , Reply# 28   6/2/2017 at 09:57 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Sorry for the Hijack

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I just wanted to share an article today about some of the Wichita FLW designs. 


Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday at one of his buildings here



Post# 941422 , Reply# 29   6/2/2017 at 10:03 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
For FLW's birthday

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An article about others in the region.


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