For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

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bryannc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:38 pm

For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by bryannc »

Please visit “https://davdwood.wixsite.com/manson” for detailed information and 50+ photos of the house.

The Charles and Dorothy Manson house has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2462 sf on a 0.58 acre lot (an adjacent/separate 0.34 acre lot is included in the sale). Designed in 1938 and completed in 1941, the distinctive horizontal roof line descends four levels down the cascading wooded lot on Wausau's prestigious and historic East Hill neighborhood. It is situated in a park-like setting (as indicated in the street name Highland Park Blvd), surrounded by historic properties, and just a short walk to downtown Wausau. Exterior and interior walls of the house are made of red tidewater cypress in a board and batten design and local red Ringle bricks. Wright's signature perforated windows are present throughout the house. Some suggest that Manson is the first Wright Usonian house with custom perforated windows.

Within the past 6 years, the current owners have made significant endeavors to preserve and restore the house. The original pebble and tar flat roof was leaking and causing damages for decades, as in almost all flat roof buildings by Wright. Upon the approval of the local historic preservation committee, the old roof was removed and replaced with an efficient rubber roofing system (June 2020) and all damages underneath were remediated. The current owners refinished and re-stained all exterior wood, restored the exterior of the master bedroom (removing added windows and gas heater that are not part of the original design), restored the second floor bathroom, re-landscaped the property, remodeled the kitchen, restored both fireplace openings, repointed the bricks around the house, and worked on many other parts of the house. They also applied and successfully gained approval to have the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. This house is also a Historical Landmark for the City of Wausau.

The sale price includes copies of the house/furniture blueprints, all existing furniture, all framed historic photos in the gallery, the original clothes drying rack designed to hang in the kitchen, and an adjacent/separate 0.34 acre lot to the north of the property.

Please contact David Wood at davdwood@yahoo.com for more information.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

Among the other interesting features of the house revealed in this new listing, with its novel photographs, is the unique nature of the board-and-sunk batten wall. Here we find an extra molding introduced into the construct, a band equal in width to the exposed portion of the sunk batten, and projecting from the surface to about the same degree as the batten is recessed. One thinks immediately of this as a solution to an inability of the builder to secure a supply of 11" wide boards, as normally required to adhere to the vital 13" vertical module. I'm not aware of another Usonian where this detail was employed; it does not appear on the single large-scale section drawing (marked "obsolete") found in Monograph 6 (p 77).

It is a pleasure to see so much original fabric in place in an early Usonian house. And, from the perspective of a coastal resident, the price is almost ridiculously reasonable !

I will post the plan drawing found in William Allin Storrer's "Frank Lloyd Wright Companion" (1993), as an aid in placing the photographs supplied by the owner. The drawing does not depict the enclosure of the carport.

Image
© 1993 by W A Storrer

JimM
Posts: 1544
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by JimM »

When Wright sent Pedro Guerrero to photograph Manson, then under construction, he ended up spending a night in jail. Being Hispanic and stopping for gas in Wes's brand new Cherokee red Mercury convertible apparently was suspicious enough. The attendant also had to go around the neighborhood to find someone who could make change for the crisp $100 bill Wright had given him for the $3 fill-up. Guerrero assumed that was enough justification to notify the highway patrol and stop him for "speeding" (questioning). When asked whose car it was, he replied "Frank Lloyd Wright". He was not charged with anything but held overnight on "suspicion". At some point they asked him what he was doing there. When he told them, they asked "Why didn't you say so?". Manson happened to be a police commissioner, and rather than be embarrassed to wake him up in the middle of the night, they kept Guerrero in an unlocked cell until morning.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

Possibly the only published Guerrero photo of Manson:

Image

Matching angle of completed house:
Image
photo © Irina Hynes

bryannc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:38 pm

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by bryannc »

Hi friends,
Thank you so much for checking out the post and visiting our webpage. Working in Texas, it is getting tougher and tougher to make the 22 hour commute “one way” to restore and maintain the Manson house. We love the house dearly and it is the sweat and tears for the past 6 years for us. Our neighbors have become our dearest friends and the city welcomes us with open arms. It is a very tough decision to put it on the market. We chose to post the listing on the Wright related websites first in hope to find a buyer who would appreciate Wright as much as we do.

Wausau is only 25 minutes to a reginal airport (CWA: Central Wisconsin Airport). It is only 1.5 hours from Green Bay, 2.5 hours from Madison, 3 hours from Milwaukee, and 4 hours from Chicago. If living there full time is not your thing, rental properties for Wright houses command big dollars and are always booked all year around.

Although Wausau is relatively unknown, it is a great city to live and/or visit. The Wausau area has plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone to enjoy all year long. With the Wisconsin River running through town, it is a great place for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Wausau is home to a world-class canoe and kayak competition site at Whitewater Park in downtown Wausau. The park hosts some of the world's largest competitions. The new river bank development has nice walking/biking trails and restaurants for local residents to relax in the nature.

The Rib Mountain State Park is another big tourist attraction in town. It is the one of the highest points in the entire state and it provides spectacular views of the whole Wisconsin River Valley. During the summer, the park is a popular place for camping, biking, and hiking. During the winter, it provides a rare opportunity for winter activities such as skiing in the Midwest.

Please visit the website site at https://davdwood.wixsite.com/manson and email David Wood (davdwood@yahoo.com) if you have any question.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

Really wonderful. Are the chairs reproductions of an original Manson design ? This is a unique (and early) example in the catalog of Usonian plywood side/dining chairs. Exciting !

And Wausau looks like a cool place. Imagine whitewater in-town ! https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb ... CnoECBgQBg

You've done a great job as owners and stewards; I hope the trip has been a rewarding one !

S

Tom
Posts: 3187
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by Tom »

I've been up there and walked around this house peering into the windows.
This was almost 20 years ago now. I think no one was living in it at the time.
The interiors are great and the perfs are some of the best
Wright was in some kind of experimental mode here. Much of this house is not found elsewhere.
I particularly like the hallway and the living room.
There is no better view of this house than the linked website.
David Wood seems to have done really good work in keeping the place maintained and intact.

bryannc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:38 pm

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by bryannc »

SDR,
Thank you very much for the kind words.
All original free standing furniture were sold to some private collector decades ago, unfortunately. This topic alone is worthy of some discussion: why would someone buy all the furniture of a house but not the house itself? They sure have plenty of opportunities to do that in the past.
The living room chairs (they are individual chairs that are put together to function as a bench/sofa, but can also be placed in a different location based on the need/function) and the dining room sectional tables were made according to the original plans. However, the dining room chairs were not made according to the original plans. They are a taller version of the living room chairs.

Bryan

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

I think you'll find that Mr Wood is the owner's representative ? Yes, the house is unusual, and in such fine form. (Wouldn't you love to see that clothes-drying apparatus ?)

It seems to me that the impression of these being the first perforated window panels (we call them perfs) may be the correct one. I wonder if Palli Holubar could clarify that ?

Going through Monographs 5 and 6 (1924-1941), I find no perfs before Manson (1938), unless one accepts the tree-like stick decoration on some of the vertical sash on the Abby Beecher Roberts drawings (1936). In fact, not until the FSC Faculty Residence (unbuilt, 1939) and Rosenbaum (1939), following Manson, do we see the second and third Usonian perfs. The only complication is that the Taliesin file number for Rosenbaum, T.3903, predates the Manson number, T.4009. I still don't know if those file numbers are chronologically correct---or not . . .


S
Last edited by SDR on Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

bryannc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:38 pm

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by bryannc »

I really need to stop taking about the house after this because the more I talk about it, the more seller's remorse I have. Besides, you know I am biased :-)

I would have named the house Tall Pines if I were Mr. Wright because the house is surrounded by tall pines and the perforated window patterns resemble them.

Although the Usonian is supposed to be for the people, you know the house was not cheap to build. Even Mr. Wright learned his lessens on why building a bathroom with 7 walls when you can build a square one with a lot less money. Of course, it is also part of his effort to mix the square module with the 120-60 angle design. Other than the grand living room, the mater bathroom is my favorite place in the house because it has so many intricate angles and details. I can find myself just sit in the bathroom after showers and just stare at the walls and ceiling forever.

SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

The Taliesin product---the drawings, and the building they represent---are exceptional in so many ways . . .

Image

Image

Image

Image

DavidC
Posts: 7792
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by DavidC »


SDR
Posts: 19437
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by SDR »

Thanks for the information about the furniture, Bryan. (And my apologies if I mis-identified the owner.) The modular chair-as-bench appears in at least one other Usonian: the Mathews residence in California was to have such units, but the client chose not to have them made.

In the well-written piece David links above, a photo of the exterior shows the landscaping in immaculate condition---another strong feature of the property as it exists today. The Manson residence joins a growing list of properly-maintained and -restored Usonians !

S

bryannc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:38 pm

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by bryannc »


Rood
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: For sale: Charles and Dorothy Manson house

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:10 pm
The Taliesin product---the drawings, and the building they represent---are exceptional in so many ways . . .

Image
Yes, the top perspective was undoubtedly drawn by Howe, or most likely by an apprentice, but ALL of the trees and shrubbery were quickly sketched in by Frank Lloyd Wright. He probably used the drawing to suggest how he would prefer the presentation perspective to appear, or, perhaps, to help refine in his mind his sense of the house ... hence all the smudges near the carport and the service entrance. It would be interesting to see and compare the final, presentation drawing.

Some of Mr. Wright's drawings for the Baghdad project were executed just as quickly, but in colour, and in fact they might have deliberately been intended as presentation drawings, because they were beautifully executed. When I saw them they absolutely took my breath away.

I was once working at my desk in the Studio at Taliesin, tossing my pencils, T-Square and triangles this way and that, in a frantic attempt to finish a box project, when Charles Montooth happened to walk through. He stopped at my desk for a moment, saying: "That's the way Mr. Wright used to work."

Of course the difference was ... I was in an absolute panic, whereas Mr. Wright was always at the top of his form,, undoubtedly enjoying every moment.

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