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Wright Rentals

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:51 am
by tonydeardorff
After seeing the Schwartz House on the Travel Channel last night I have been trying to see how many Frank LLoyd Wright works you can actually rent and stay in. Here is what I have come up with. Let my know what I may have missed.

Schwartz House

Peterson Cottage

Haynes House

Penfield House

Jacobs House

Price Tower

Arizona Biltmore Hotel

Hemicycle in Hawaii (Designed by Wright, Built by TA)

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:03 am
by rgrant
Check out the link for Alpine Meadows Ranch, the Como Summer Inn. The two structures that survive from the original complex have been cleaned up, other structures added, the whole turned into a resort. It was never a great work, but it is in a wonderful location for a vacation.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:41 pm
by Wrightgeek
To the best of my limited knowledge, Jacobs I is not available to be rented on a per night or per week basis, but must be rented by the month, during the summer months only I believe.

Last time I checked, which was fairly recently, the ranch in Montana was up for sale. I'm not sure whether or not it is still available to be rented while it is actively being marketed.

One property that you have left off of your list is a relatively new addition to the realm of FLW buildings that you can spend the night in. It is the Muirhead Farmhouse B & B in Hampshire, Illinois, about 40 miles outside of Chicago. This property is owned by a daughter and son-in-law of the original clients, and just began accepting reservations several months ago. I have included a link to their website below.

BTW, I have been fortunate enough to have stayed at the Arizona Biltmore, the Price Tower, the Penfield house and the Schwartz house. While the Biltmore and the Inn at Price Tower were both very nice and were memorable stays, nothing can top the experience of living and sleeping in one of FLW's homes, even if only for a day or two. I won't go into the details, but I can highly recommend and endorse both the Penfield house and the Schwartz house.

I have booked stays at both the Haynes and Muirhead properties for later this year, and can only hope that they measure up to Penfield and Schwartz, which I'm sure they will.

While I have visited and toured the Petersen Cottage, I have not had the pleasure of staying there yet. Maybe next year?

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:18 pm
by Wes Barwick
Unfortunately, the only place I have had the pleasure of staying at is the Seth Peterson Cottage (we are going to be there this weekend). Although it is a little expensive, I think we will probably stay at the Schwartz house next since it is much closer and it is hard to get away because of the kids. I think Penfield would probably be the one I would want to stay at after that.

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:05 pm
by Guesty
Thanks for the info. I went to the Muirhead Farmhouse website to check them out. Boy, what a nicely designed website! It makes me want to visit the house. Much nicer than most of the other houses for rent websites.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:25 pm
by Guest
Wrightgeek, Can you share details why it is so nice to stay in a FLW house? We are just wondering what is so special. Thank you.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:26 pm
by Wrightgeek
Well, the most obvious advantanges involve time and accessibility. Instead of being paraded through the house in 30-45 minutes on a tour with a group of strangers, and being limited to seeing only select areas of the house, when staying in a FLW overnight property you have the luxury of spending as much time as you'd like in each and every room of the house, looking out each window, sitting or reclining on the furniture, studying the detailing and all of the nuances, etc., just taking it all in. You also get to share these experiences with people who are close to you.

The most dramatic experience for me in each home was to be able to observe the magical transition that occurs when the buildings move from daylight into night, and back again in the morning. It's hard to describe how dramatic and hypnotic this process can be; to watch shadows from the patterns in the clerestory windows dance accross the floors and walls, and to see the glass exterior walls disappear as the light goes down outside and comes up inside the house, is a very soothing and relaxing exercise.

The other big advantage involves being able to experience how these buildings function in their intended use, as homes. Using the workspace to make breakfast in the morning, relaxing in the living room with a fire in the fireplace, discovering the idiosyncrosies of each plan, using the small but efficient bathrooms, feeling the heat from the radiant floors against your feet, and so on.

These homes are not perfect, but while living in them for a day or two, one gets to experience them in a unique way, warts and all. As I said earlier, it is something that I highly recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in Mr. Wright and his work. I hope this helps to clarify what for me makes this an experience not to be missed, and to be savored.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:33 pm
by JDS
As someone who lived at Taliesin for a few weeks, I can say that living in such a place it is an experience everyone should look into. Although technically I slept at Hilltop, and worked/ate at Hillside, its quite different than taking an hour tour.

One of my memorable experiences there was when I was down in the Hillside dining room, probably eating a bowl of cereal, when there was a phone call. It had been raining most of the afternoon, and it was I believe it was Minerva on the phone, one of the Fellowship. "Rainbow!" She was calling everyone at Taliesin so we could all run outside and admire the beautiful rainbow over the hillside. You don't get experiences like that on the tour...I wish there were more ways you could.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:30 pm
by rgrant
I second Wrightgeek and JDS' assessments of staying overnight. I spent time at Taliesin West in 1963 and in the late 90s. The desert is at its most beautiful in the early morning hours. The campus is magical after the hoards of tourists have left. I also have stayed at Tomek and Bogk, enjoying the company of the owners and experiencing the effects of the changing light. The tours are fun, but nothing compares to spending time in any one of those magnificent treasures.

Wright rentals

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:11 pm
by Wes Barwick
rgrant, how wonderful it must have been to stay at the Bogk house. As a student at UW-Milwaukee I often would drive out of my way on the way home simply to look at it. How recently did you stay at the Tomek house? I know that it recently sold to new owners.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:53 pm
by JDS
I wish I had been able to spend more time at T-West when I was down there, although it was nice that I finally got to test out the origami chairs, Taliesin doesnt let people sit on them on the tours. Though when I stayed there we would just move the "Do not sit on" signs and actually get to relax in them. I would still love to spend some time in a Usonian, but unfortunatley I cant afford to rent the Jacobs I house for a summer! But Dennis was nice enough to give me a quick interior tour when I stopped by to measure his board and batten siding for some drawings I was working on, though he did say if I hung around too long he was going to put me to work gardening.

If anyone else has some good stories about staying in Wright buildings I'm sure we'd all love to hear!

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:17 am
by rgrant
Wes, I stayed at Tomek in October of 1985. Maya Moran still owned it then, and she was as entertaining as the house was beautiful. She moved on years ago, but in the early days of the Conservancy, Maya was one of the most enjoyable members. I miss her. Two friends and I drove up in the early evening, and the entire house was ablaze with light. Maya was so vigilant about keeping all of those leaded windows spotless, that the house glowed like a jewel in the night. If all the houses had such caring owners, like the Elsners at Bogk as well, there would be no need for the Conservancy.

Although I didn't stay overnight, I just remembered that on that '85 trip, Ginny Kazor did spend two nights at D. D. Martin. That was back when the curator of the house was living on site. Seeing that grand old house, damaged as it was back then, in the early morning hours and late evening, sans crowds, was also special. In the late 80s, when we had guest speakers at Hollyhock, such as Jack Quinan, Donald Hoffmann and H. Alan Brooks, they were put up in the house, which they always found eventful ... sometimes too much so. These days, given the deterioration of the neighborhood, that would be a scary prospect, and is no longer done. Finally, I almost rented the apartment under the garage of Freeman back in the 70s, but it was to expensive at the time. Not that I miss having shared quarters with Harriett and Sam.

FLW Rentals

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:29 pm
by av8r33
Truly jealous of you Mid Western folks....I never paid a great deal of attention to your part of the country until I became a FLW fan. Pictures of The Muirhead farmhouse and landscapes look fantastic, as do all the FLW homes in that part of the country.


Dallas, TX.

Please rain soon....