Frank Lloyd Wright, born June 8, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin, is hailed as one of the most iconic American architects of all time. His Prairie style — under which he designed and constructed 50 Frank Lloyd Wright homes from 1900 to 1910 — served as the basis for 20th-century American residential architecture. Wright is also known for his organic architecture, which is a practice that endeavors to marry buildings with their surrounding natural environment. During his inspiring architecture career, he designed over 800 buildings. In all, 380 of Wright’s designs came to life, and 280 are still standing today — decades after his death in 1959.
Out of those 280 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings that are still standing, many are preserved and open to the public, whereas some are owned privately and occasionally go up for sale. Here’s a look at six stunning Frank Lloyd Wright homes for sale if you’re interested in seeing a piece of architectural history.
1. The William H. Copeland House
- Year designed: 1909
- On the market for: $1.35 million
The William H. Copeland home is located at 400 Forest Ave. in Oak Park, Illinois, which is in the heart of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District. The current style of the home, completed in the early decades of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career, exemplifies Wright’s remodeling design work. The 4,914-square-foot house was originally constructed around 1873 for William H. Harman in Italianate architecture style. Approximately 35 years later, in 1908, Dr. William Copeland — who owned the home at that time — hired Wright to design a garage for the residence. In 1909, Dr. Copeland commissioned Wright to remodel the home. The home is listed as a contributing property to the Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District.
Architectural Style of the William H. Copeland House
Wright remodeled parts of both the interior and exterior of the home in his iconic Prairie style, a type of architectural design he began implementing in the late 19th century. His original remodeling design for the home was a three-story Prairie style, which the owner rejected. As a compromise, Wright settled for incorporating elements of his Prairie-style vision into the existing Italianate-style home via the roof, veranda, front doors, dining room built-in and first-floor rooms.
Features of the William H. Copeland House
The most prominent design change took place in the form of a low-pitched hip roof, complete with tiles. Wright also added a large veranda to the home’s exterior, which serves as a gateway of sorts to the stunning geometric-art glass entry, also designed by the architect. Other examples of Wright’s influence include the prominent horizontal banding adorning the walls of the first-floor rooms, and the massive dining room built-in featuring geometric art glass. Other features of this home that’s on the market include an oversized kitchen that allows access to the informal porch area and offers a nice view of the parklike backyard. The upstairs contains a wide gallery-style hallway, five expansive bedrooms and an office. A total of three full baths and a half-bath are also located throughout the three floors of the home. A bedroom and game room are located in the home’s basement.
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2. The James B. Christie House
- Year designed: 1940
- On the market for: $1.45 million
The Christie House is located at 190 Jockey Hollow Road in Bernardsville, New Jersey, on a 7.2-acre, private wooded plot. The one-story brick, cypress and redwood structure is known as the largest house that Lloyd designed in New Jersey, originally measuring 2,000 square feet.
The original owner, James B. Christie, only lived in the home for approximately five years before selling it to a government official from Iran who occupied it, along with his family, for the next four decades.
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Architectural Style of the James B. Christie House
The James B. Christie House is an example of Usonian-style architecture. Wright started designing and constructing this style of home in the 1930s, during the Great Depression era, due to his sense that the American middle class needed a simpler form of living.
In an effort to save money, Usonian homes were laid out on a standardized grid and built without attics and basements. Other economically inclined design elements included simple rooflines, in-floor radiant heating, and unpainted wood, concrete and brick. In a nod to Wright’s Prairie-style homes, horizontal lines figure prominently in the Usonian design.
In 2003, a Frank Lloyd Wright preservation specialist firm, Tarantino Architect, was commissioned to construct an extension for the master bedroom suite. The plans for the extension were based on Wright’s original designs — a part of the project that didn’t come to fruition when the home was built. This extension included a taller clerestory lounge, complete with built-in seating.
Features of the James B. Christie House
With the 2003 additions, the home now measures 2,700 square feet. It has also had multiple upgrades and improvements, including a new roof, windows and bathrooms. Additional features of the home include original Frank Lloyd Wright built-ins in the living and dining room, an artist studio, three bedrooms, 3.1 baths, a two-car garage and two fireplaces.
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3. The David and Gladys Wright House
- Year designed: 1950
- On the market for: $9.99 million
The 2,553-square-foot David and Gladys Wright House is located at 5212 E. Exeter Blvd. in Phoenix. Frank Lloyd Wright designed this house — which faces Camelback Mountain — for his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Gladys, who occupied the house until their deaths in 1997 and 2008, respectively.
After the Wrights’ deaths, the house was sold to a real estate developer who planned to demolish it and develop the lot. Fortunately, the house was saved and, in 2017, the then-owner announced a plan to donate the home to the School of Architecture at Taliesin, formerly known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. In 2018, plans changed yet again, and the house was placed on the market for sale.
Architectural Style of the David and Gladys Wright House
The David and Gladys Wright House was developed during the last decade of Frank Lloyd Wright’s illustrious career. It features a spiral design intended to capture the wind. It also boasts an extensive, curved entry ramp that served as a precursor for the design of the famed Guggenheim Museum in New York.
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Features of the David and Gladys Wright House
The three-bedroom, four-bath home includes Frank Lloyd Wright custom-designed furnishings made of Philippine mahogany, which complement the home’s circular construction. Included in the circular theme is Wright’s signature “March Balloons” carpet, which adorns the living room. Outside, the property features a roof terrace, plunge pool, courtyard and a shaded garden.
4. The Norman Lykes House
- Year designed: 1959
- On the market for: $2.65 million
Located at 6836 N. 36th St. in Phoenix, the 3,095-square-foot Norman Lykes House is known as the architect and designer’s last residential project.
During the home’s construction, Wright passed away, and his apprentice, John Rattenbury, completed the project in 1967. Originally, the home was constructed with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. But, in 1994, when Norman Lykes sold the house, the buyer hired Rattenbury to renovate the house, which included making the five bedrooms into three more spacious rooms.
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Architectural Style of the Norman Lykes House
The Lykes House is one of 14 circular homes that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. It reflects Wright’s philosophy of organic architecture, where the construction reflects the surrounding landscape. For example, the circular design of the house reflects the curved features of the nearby mountains.
Features of the Norman Lykes House
Formerly featuring five bedrooms, the house now has three larger bedrooms as the result of the 1994 renovation. During that time, a workshop was converted into a media room. The curved walls of the home are covered in Philippine mahogany, and other high-end finishes include stainless steel kitchen counters, slate floors from India and Italian marble in the master bath. The home also includes three bathrooms, a crescent-shaped pool and a carport.
5. The Theodore A. Pappas House
- Year designed: 1955
- On the market for: $1.2 million
Located at 865 Masonridge Road in the Town and Country suburb of St. Louis, is the Theodore A. Pappas House. Even though the 2,310-square-foot home was designed in 1955 by Wright, construction did not begin until 1960, after his death in 1959. When the house was completed in 1964, the owners, Bette and Ted Pappas, moved in with their four children. The home is only one of two Wright homes in St. Louis.
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Architectural Style of the Theodore A. Pappas House
The Pappas House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is another one of the Usonian-style homes Wright constructed during his career. Featuring a grid design and brick, concrete and wood materials, this home was designed without an attic or basement.
Features of the Theodore A. Pappas House
Built of terra cotta-colored concrete blocks, the Pappas House contains many interesting features — from the changes in floor level to the varied ceiling planes to the Wright-designed, Philippine mahogany furniture. Other features include expansive glass double doors leading to the concrete terrace, which boasts glass insets and a spacious living and dining area, complete with a fireplace. Square scoring on the concrete flooring and concrete textile blocks on the ceiling can be found throughout this four-bedroom, two-bath home.
6. The Massaro House
- Year designed: 1950
- On the market for: $12.9 million
The Massaro House, spanning more than 6,000 square feet, is located on the heart-shaped, private Petra Island in Mahopac, New York. Even though the Massaro House is billed as a Frank Lloyd Wright home, its design is disputed.
Architectural Style of the Massaro House
In 1949, Ahmed Chahroudi commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build the house on Petra Island. For three months, Wright worked on designing a one-story home spanning 5,000 square feet. Then, Chahroudi canceled the project when he realized he wouldn’t be able to afford it. Instead, Chahroudi had Wright build a much smaller, 1,200-square-foot guest cottage, which he used as a family summer retreat.
Many decades later, in 1996, Joseph Massaro purchased Petra Island and decided to build the home Chahroudi originally commissioned from Wright, using Thomas A. Heinz, an architect and Wright historian.
Heinz used computer software to model certain aspects of Wright’s original design that were vague. He also designed updated heating and cooling systems and chimney caps, which were not part of the original design.
Unfortunately, because Massaro failed to follow the exact design Wright laid out, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation refuses to recognize the Massaro House as an official Frank Lloyd Wright creation. Instead, it maintains that it is merely inspired by the late designer and architect.
Features of the Massaro House
This seven-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home sits amid Lake Mahopac — a short helicopter ride from Manhattan. The property includes a rooftop helipad, two guest houses, a tea house and a dock. Stunning features of the home include expanses of natural rock serving as interior walls in the entryway, kitchen and bathroom areas, 26 skylights in the living room and a cantilevered deck.
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About the Author
Cynthia Measom is a Texas-based writer specializing in finance, business, parenting and education. With almost a decade of online writing experience, her work has appeared on websites such as Chron.com, The Bump and The Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.