Alvin Miller residence for sale Iowa Frank Lloyd Wright

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.


This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply

Posts: 1548
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »


I have not seen the interior, but I did visit the house last June, about a week after the flooding in Charles City subsided.

I am not surprised at all that the house is for sale. While I was at the house, I had an opportunity to speak with a friend of the owners who was assisting them with the clean-up efforts on the interior of the house, which had over 4 feet of water inside the building. This gentleman told me that the owner was a veterinarian in town, and that his place of business was also dmaged by the floodwaters. He told me that the owner had recently suffered some health problems as well, and that the combination of all of these traumatic events had led the owners to decide that it was time to sell the house. He mentioned that this was not the first flood the owners had been through, but that this was by far the worst.

All in all, a very sad situation. The house is quite striking from the exterior, and the setting is gorgeous, not more than thirty or so feet from the edge of the Cedar River, in a park-like environment. But the setting is a double-edge sword, as the very river that adds so much beauty to the property is also its downfall. And unless something changes drastically in the near future, it is folly to think that another disaster does not await this house somewhere down the road.

Posts: 6209
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

I remember the discussion about the flooding, but I was hoping there might have been some positive turn of events...

The house is a beauty. Move it?

I know, probably impossible. Any Hollywood producers in the market?

Maybe to Malibu?

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4368
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

The price was not listed on the FLWBC site. Does anyone know what they are asking for it?

I was unable to find the real estate listing.

I wonder what condition the interior is current in (restored/unrestored) and how much mold has grown since the flood.

Average sale price of homes currently for sale in Charles City is well under $100K.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10420
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Paul, Miller would go for more than $100K; the current owner added the dentistry office that had been originally designed for the property, which was also to have had a second residence. The office space was redefined as additional residence, significantly enlarging the original house. The first two photos from the street show the addition to the right, as do the first two photos on "MidWestern MidCentury" site, and third and fourth photos on Peter's site. This is a wonderful design that could be protected from future flooding only by infrastructure to control the river, which is probably not going to be done anytime soon.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4368
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Roderick Grant wrote:Miller would go for more than $100K
yes, of course this is true. My point was that it most likely would go for 5 to 10 times the average market price if it was in restored condition, a tough sale in this economy.

I have seen the house both before and after the addition. The octagonal addition, while constructed to add additional residential space for the family, was built with all the walls, doors and windows positioned according to Wright's original plans. The patient rooms are used as bedrooms for his kids.

At one time the owner had the intention of purchasing the house to the east so that he could build the other wing, but had to wait for the owner to die because they were not interested in selling.

Posts: 692
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Post by Deke »

Beautiful exterior. Probably not the right location for flat roofs, though.

That white stucco wall is interesting. Is that the new addition? I haven't seen that treatment on a usonian before...was it what FLW specified?

Same with the white on the eaves.


Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
Location: California

Post by Craig »

So does anyone know the asking price? Interesting how it states that furniture might possibly be included in the sales price.

Oak Park Jogger
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:21 pm

Post by Oak Park Jogger »

Any news about the Alvin Miller house? Last anyone posted, work was well under way by the new owners. We'd hoped to make it to Charles City this summer but didn't, so don't have that first hand info. Anyone???

Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:03 pm

Post by Iowegian63 »

I saw the house in 2013. It is in seriously tough shape and needs a lot of work. Not sure if any progress has been made since then. For a small town in Iowa 275 K is VERY expensive, especially considering all the work I suspect still needs to be done.

Posts: 6209
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Stafford Norris is working on it. Progress has been made, though there is still more to do.

Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

If ever a Wright home needed to be moved, it is this one. Of course, that won't happen until a means has been devised -- teleportation? Star Trek "beaming"? -- to move the whole in one piece. Unlike Farnsworth, perhaps, this structure does not lend itself to temporary elevation !


Post Reply