It’s rare to own a home in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, but here’s two just outside of NYC in Westchester County. Brownstoner showcased the homes, both designed with Wright’s “Usonian” ideals in mind–affordable homes integrated skillfully with the landscape. The first, in Pleasantville, is known originally as the Silson house and was designed in 1951 by architect Kaneji Domoto, a Wright student. It’s located within the actual Wright-planned community now known as the Usonia Historic District and asking $1.2 million. The second is a home designed by architect David Henken, another Wright disciple. Located in Dobb’s Ferry, with the same seamless connection to nature, it is listed for $1.049 million.
Frank Lloyd Wright
This week we wish a very happy birthday to architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright. Celebrate the event with admission to the Wright-designed Guggenheim for just $1.50! The Transit Museum is also celebrating with 100 years, and the Welling Court Mural Festival celebrates eight! Experience the Philip Johnson Glass House in a whole new way during its summer soiree party, or grab a blanket for The Met Opera’s first free outdoor concert. The River to River Festival kicks off free programming with a performance by The Dance Cartel, and Quiet Lunch Magazine drops another issue with a party. Finally, immerse yourself in an arty evening with Chashama’s gala at the old Vogue offices.
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Considering today would have been Frank Lloyd Wright‘s 150th birthday, you’d think we all know everything there is to know about the prolific architect. But the wildly creative, often stubborn, and always meticulous Wright was also quite mysterious, leaving behind a legacy full of oddities and little-known stories. In honor of the big day, 6sqft has rounded up the top 10 things you likely never knew about him, including the mere three hours it took him to design one of his most famous buildings, the world-famous toy that his son designed, his secondary career, and a couple present-day ways his work lives on.
For many, Frank Lloyd Wright is considered the archetype of his profession; he was brash and unapologetic about his ideas, he experimented and tested the limits of materiality and construction, and he was never afraid to put clients in their place when they were wrong. It was this unwavering confidence paired with a brilliant creative mind that made him one of the greatest American architects to ever live. And one of the most influential.
This week Wright would have turned 150 years old, so to celebrate his birthday and his importance to the practice of modern architecture, we’re paying tribute to the architect’s built, destroyed, and never-constructed New York works. Amazingly, of the more than 500 structures credited with his name, he can only claim one in Manhattan.
Summer is the perfect time to get out of town and explore what’s beyond the borders of the city. While there is certainly no shortage of nature escapes and historic hideouts nearby, just outside of Manhattan in about every direction are also numerous modernist treasures to admire. Ahead is 6sqft’s round-up of the 10 best destinations for architecture enthusiasts with a penchant for modern design.
Nestled in a wooded enclave in the tranquil town of Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County, NY, this striking midcentury modern house was built by noted architect of the day Roy Sigvard Johnson, who may have been an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, according to Curbed–and it’s evident that he admired Wright’s work. The house, one of several east coast modern gems, is unique inside and out, embracing the beauty of the land surrounding it. Most amazing are features–like a stone waterfall that ends in a heated Jacuzzi and a folded glass wall that wraps the home’s stone paths and gardens–where nature and house meet. The 2,574 square-foot four-bedroom house at 543 Scarborough Road is asking $1.1 million.
For the first time in 20 years, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut is on the market. The Wall Street Journal reports that the home, which Wright built just before his death in 1959 on a 15-acre wooded estate, has been listed for $8 million by the estate of its long-time owner, the late memorabilia mogul and philanthropist Ted Stanley and his wife Vada. Though the couple renovated the horse-shaped home, they maintained its original architectural integrity, preserving classic Wright details like built-in bookshelves, cabinets and furniture, as well as other unique features such as a rooftop observatory with telescope, gold leaf chimneys, and sculpture paths that wind through the woods.
This unique listing should definitely get the attention of modern house lovers and math geeks. One of three remaining New Jersey homes (a fourth was moved to Arkansas in 2014) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is up for sale for $995,000. The home was purchased by the current owners in 1996 and restored to “purists’ standards” in 2006. The house follows the architect’s “Usonian” plan which incorporates native materials and strong visual connections between interiors and the exterior landscape.
During his prolific career, Frank Lloyd Wright built four houses in the Garden State, the first and largest being the 2,000-square-foot James B. Christie House in Bernardsville, which dates to 1940. At the time, Wright, who coined the term “organic architecture,” told his client to find a site with “as much individuality as to topography and features—stream, trees, etc. and as much freedom from adjacent buildings as is possible.” Christie obliged, and the resulting home sits on seven acres of secluded woodland. For the physical architecture, Wright employed his Usonian principles of simplicity, practicality, and a connection to nature.
As Curbed reports, after selling in 2014 to a private buyer for $1,700,000, the Christie House is now on the market for $2.2 million after receiving a new roof and heating system.
“Fellow architects have called him everything from a great poet to an insupportable windbag,” begins Mike Wallace in a 1957 interview with Frank Lloyd Wright. This is the setup for a talk with the famous architect in which he asserts he could rebuild the entire country if he had 15 more years and that the New York City skyline is nothing more than a “race for rent,” a monument to “the power of money and greed,” and completely lacking any ideas.
In this animated video from PBS Digital Studio (h/t Reddit), set to the historic interview, we learn why Wright thinks centuries of architecture failed, what he feels is wrong with St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and how he believes he received the title of “arrogant.”