Archives For frank lloyd wright

pleasantly round

December 3, 2017 — 1 Comment

A beautiful double-round house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is now for sale in Pleasantville, New York. Built in the late 1940s, the house’s circular design prefigures the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.






The asking price is $1.5 million.


Two of the most creative architects ever to embrace the round form, Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, were both born on June 8—Wright in 1867, and Goff in 1904.

For Wright, the circular form symbolized freedom, an escape from the traditional residential box. As he explained in 1952, “a box is a containment. I tried to abolish the box.” Wright designed at least 14 round and semi-circular houses, as well as, most famously, the spiraling Guggenheim Museum in NYC. Not all of his round house designs were built; sadly, some of his most beautiful and innovative efforts never made it beyond the planning stage.

Wright’s 1938 project for Ralph Jester, meant for a suburban housing community in Palos Verdes, California, was his first attempt at a circular residence –

jester house plans

Another unbuilt round house was the Ludd M. Spivey house, which Wright designed during the same period.

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January 17, 2013 — 1 Comment

A round house in Phoenix, Arizona, built by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, sold for $2.38 million in late December 2012, saving it from demolition.  One of the architect’s later works, the historic 1952 structure prefigures the circular design of the Guggenheim Museum.

david wright house, phoenix, AZ

The house was almost lost. A development company, 8081 Meridien, bought the property for $1.8 million in June 2012, planning to subdivide the land, demolish the house, and replace it with two luxury homes. Interviewed by the New York Times a few months later, one of the firm’s two principals admitted that he had no idea of the structure’s significance, or even of the difference “between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers.”

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The Orcutt House, on sale in Worthington, Ohio, consists of two intersecting circles, one forming the body of the house and the other forming a smaller kitchen area.  Designed by architect Theodore van Fossen in 1958, it is a single story structure on a 0.7 acre lot.

rush creek village round house

The house is part of a residential community called Rush Creek Village, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of organic architecture. Made up of 49 single-family houses linked by a system of curvilinear streets, the neighborhood and each of its homes were designed by van Fossen, who had worked for Wright on construction projects in the late 1930s in Indiana.

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A deal was signed last week by the developer who owns the 1952 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Phoenix, and the city of Phoenix, which delays the demolition of the house for at least a month.

The developer, 8081 Meridian, contends that the city issued a valid demolition permit that would allow the house to be torn down.  Having bought the house in June 2012 for $1.8 million, he has reportedly turned down a cash offer of more than $2 million from a prospective buyer looking to save the historic structure.

“It is probably the most important residential design of the last decade of his career,” said Janet Halstead, the  executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. “Many architecture experts consider it among the 20 most important Frank Lloyd Wright designs ever built.”

The search for a buyer who can satisfy the developer’s financial demands continues.

Developers are threatening a historic round house in Arcadia, Arizona, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  Built for Wright’s son David in 1950-1952, the house is made of curved concrete blocks, and is accessed via a spiral ramp reminiscent of NYC’s Guggenheim Museum –


8081 Meridian, a development company that builds “Highly Livable Luxury Homes,” bought the property in early 2012 for $1.8 million. The company has filed plans with the city to divide the 2-acre property, a possible first step toward demolition.  In an interview with the Arizona Republic, managing partner John Hoffman reportedly said that “it’s not a given that the house can be preserved.”

After negotiations with the city and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Hoffman said in mid-July that his company has put its plans on hold for 60 days while seeking a compromise solution to save the house. The waiting period ends on August 21.

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radius house

May 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

Closer to a half-circle than a circle, the Radius House, built in 1958, was designed by architect Daniel J. Liebermann.  An apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, Liebermann was only 28 years old when he built the house for himself and his wife.

The house was built of salvaged brick, exposed beams of Douglas fir reclaimed from a bridge in Ukiah, and skylights obtained from WWII bombers. A 2010 renovation led by Vivian Dwyer of Dwyer Design opened up the interior, updated the wiring and appliances, and added modern elements.

lost jewel

September 10, 2011 — 1 Comment

This cool, curvaceous ’50s beauty in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was torn down in the 1990s –

Designed by Don Erickson, an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, it shows Wright’s “Usonian” influence.  In 1958, a few years after it was built, it received the prestigious American Institute of Architects award.

The Curtis Meyer Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright –

FLW, curtis meyer house

John Lautner, an innovative modernist architect who worked in the ’40s through the ’70s, designed a number of curving, round, arched, and wavy homes in California.  He also liked triangles and odd-shaped polygons.  What one doesn’t see a lot of in his designs are rectangles, right angles, and squares.

Perhaps his most famous house — shaped like a flying saucer — is the Chemosphere, an LA landmark.

A Lautner design with a round roof and zigzag glazing, known as the Pearlman Cabin, was built a few years earlier in Idyllwild –

Another house from that same period, called the Hatherall House, had a dramatic circular “great room” –

This jewel of a house, in Palm Springs, featured in the movie “Diamonds Are Forever” –

Like Frank Lloyd Wright, whom he studied with, Lautner was a prolific and successful architect who saw more than 100 of his designs built.  He worked primarily in California, though a few of his works can be found elsewhere. Sadly, a number of his houses and buildings have been torn down, some quite recently.

A fairly comprehensive listing of Lautner’s works can be found here.