Shortly after the construction of this Two-storey family home, which goes on sale today, Frank Lloyd Wright he devoted himself almost body and soul to writing essays in favor of horizontality and against verticality, which he accused of causing vertigo; almost as much as the one you feel when looking at its iconic waterfall house from below.
The Boulter house, which sold with original furniture designed by the architect, not only complies with his later standards of building height. Closer to no-add functionality than ‘mid-century’ futuristic fantasy, the house carries the heritage of sobriety and the materials that Wright applied to his Usonia houses during World War II, when the United States was going through a serious economic crisis and most of the construction had stopped.
This does not mean that it is cheaply made: registered as a historical heritage, it is built with African and Philippine mahogany, Douglas fir, concrete blocks and glass; and features some of the classic Wright elements, such as underfloor heating. Today, however, it goes on the market at a price that lovers of the architect’s work have not hesitated to call ridiculous: $ 695,000 (just over 600,000 euros).
The surprise comes when you do a quick Google search and discover that Many of the homes that Frank Lloyd Wright built are listed for relatively low prices to the market. In 2016, one of his homes in Michigan hung a “for sale” sign for $ 500,000 (440,000 euros). Plus, it costs a lot to sell them. Why?
If you are the owner of a Wright home, America’s most recognized architect, you are going to have many marauders, students and conference attendees about his work who want to see one of his creations live and direct, even if you are in pajamas. Also, when you buy a piece that is part of the history of architecture, you you also become part of its history and selling it becomes the most demanding of the competitive exams: many owners will not release it until the candidate is, in their eyes, someone who is willing to take care of the home.
Another of the handicaps of their houses, apart from the fact that many buyers prefer not to invest in an old-fashioned home that must be preserved as it is, is that they are usually located in idyllic places, yes, but far from civilization. Perhaps due to his fondness of going out for a ride in his yellow convertible? Not the case with this one, designed for Mrs. Boulter — the daughter of building materials supplier Henry J. Neils, for whom Wright had already built a house in Minnesota — and her husband, both of whom were Wright’s students in college. The house is located a few minutes walk from the Gaslight Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA), full of bars, restaurants and shops.
The Boulter house has 228 square meters, with large windows and a floating balcony with the unmistakable stamp of Wright. It has two modifications to the original plan: the first, by Wright, to create a playroom for the couple’s two children; In the second, in 1990, local architect Chris Magee closed the garage and attached it to the main house, as well as updating the main bathroom and dining room. The rest is exactly as Wright designed it from the beginning: kitchen “efficient”, as their notes said, that is, small and functional; a huge living room on two levels, and four rooms, of 9 square meters, which follow the usonian style as if it were religion.
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