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Kalil House, Manchester NH for sale

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:15 am
by victoriad

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:34 am
by DavidC
They are asking $850K. For what it's worth, Redfin, Realtor and Zillow give estimates in the ~$300K - $360K range. Looks like the home might sit unsold for quite some time.

Do you know if the Currier Museum has expressed any interest in the possibility of owning two Wright homes?


Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:51 am
by victoriad
It is doubtful the Currier would be interested in ownership of Kalil (as we have been told). One Frank Lloyd Wright house is enough :D

There appears to be new development (homes) adjacent to the Kalil site. It's a very desirable neighborhood.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:41 am
by SDR
A favorite Yukio Futagawa photo:





Text and right-hand plan © 1993 by William Allin Storrer

Other material, © 1988 A.D.A EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd. and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:49 am
by Roderick Grant
Fascinating house, but it would make me nervous.
Not that I would expect the concrete ceiling to fall on my head, but there are only 2 egresses from the house, and none in the bedroom wing.
Fire and all that.
I also suspect my claustrophobia might not like it much.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:34 pm
by jay
They are asking $850K. For what it's worth, Redfin, Realtor and Zillow give estimates in the ~$300K - $360K range. Looks like the home might sit unsold for quite some time.
A short while back, I became curious about Usonian home values in comparison to the median home value index's of its area.
(Fourth comment down on this thread I explain my very basic approach to the math: ... 3bedc9e6e6)

I came up with a figure that suggested an average "Wright" premium would have the price ratio of 2.25 to 1 for median value. I recognize this number is hardly scientific, so take it with a grain of salt. But it did demonstrate that Olflet was badly overpriced for its area....

The median value of 03104 (northern Manchester) is $264,800. That puts the current asking price for the Kalil house to be a 3.2 to 1 ratio to the index. (Not terrible, as Olflelt began with an asking price of a 5.2 to 1 ratio, and finally sold for 4.3 to 1....) Yet if 2.25:1 is the more appropriate Usonians-to-Median-Value figure, we'd probably want to see Kalil selling for $600,000.

That said, $600k seems like a steal for this home, given its location... And a 3:1 ratio doesn't seem egregious, like Olfelt did... Hopefully the Usonian Automatic is as desired as Wright's other Usonians, which I used to arrive at my "ratio". That could be a wrinkle, as Roderick alludes to.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:33 pm
by SDR
As the perceived "necessary" size of the home has grown over the last half-century (or less ?), the typical Usonian shrinks in size by comparison. Kallis is
a two-bedroom house (originally designed, apparently, with three); another conceivable price metric might be $ per bedroom---or at least include the number
of bedrooms somewhere in the formula ?


Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:04 pm
by jay
Right, a real formula could be attempted, looking at bedrooms, square footage, lot size, condition, commutability, etc.

One observation though...while the Usonians were designed as family homes, and were originally used in that capacity (mostly), it'd be telling to learn how many Usonians are currently occupied by families with school-age children. Seems to me that most Usonians are now owned by "empty nesters", sometimes as second-homes to people who live in urban areas.

I could imagine the Kalil house being an ideal part-time home for a successful couple in NYC, for example. In which case, I doubt having 2 bedrooms instead of 3 would be an issue.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:56 pm
by DRN
The house looks to be well cared for, but any UA should be very carefully examined by a roofing expert and a structural engineer prior to agreeing to a purchase price. The roof block slabs are built level and if a roof is allowed to stay well beyond its service life, water can get between the roofing and the block slab and stay there...if water finds any cracks in the roof block joints and makes it to the rebar in the channels between the blocks, repairs can be difficult and expensive to perform.

These are great and stalwart houses, but they are vulnerable to neglect.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:25 pm
by SDR
I misspoke: the original design showed two bedrooms and a single bath, while the built plan finds a way to have two baths as well as two bedrooms.


Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:25 am
by loo tee
This house seems grossly overpriced, regardless of the neighborhood. Also painfully claustrophobic, as Rod Grant observes.

Wright was clearly off-course with his Usonian Automatic theme. I wouldn't live in this house even if it were given to me free. It just goes to show that old men usually don't do very good work.

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:48 am
by SDR
Heh-heh. Wait until you're old, then see if you agree with that statement ...!

Emergency egress is an issue, I suppose; today's buildings codes (even liberals like me catch themselves muttering about the Nanny State) would
prevent this error, if it is one. But this is a largely fireproof house---something one doesn't find Wright mentioning in connection with the Textile Block
and UA, oddly, unlike with the Fireproof House design of 1905. Perhaps he wearied of thinking about fires.


Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:02 am
by jay
overpriced, regardless of the neighborhood
At this moment, in multiple places in our country, there are realtor conferences in session, with hundreds of realtors bowing their heads in unison, softly whispering the "3 rules of real estate" mantra.

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:46 am
by Roderick Grant
SDR, while the concrete may be fire-resistant, every building is full of fuel, upholstery, drapes, wood, paper etc., and once the concrete cage is emptied of its fuel, it's no good to anyone.
I'm with Loo Tee on this one, I wouldn't want to live in it at any price, no matter the location, location, location.
(By the way, while Loo Tee is young at heart, he is superannuated.)

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:02 pm
by SDR
But do you agree that "old men usually don't do very good work" ?

I find that a lifetime's experience---including observation of the follies of youth, the waning of "look at me," and the maturity of one's design sensibilities---combine
to produce the best and most reasonable work ever. The only hiccups might be momentary lapses of memory, and overconfidence in one's abilities ?

Of course any building contains flammables. I can't agree that an all-masonry structure need be written off after a less-than-calamitous conflagration---necessarily.