Exterior of Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Wright Stuff: 5 Frank Lloyd Houses to Visit


A proponent of organic architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright's work is American craftsmanship at its finest: strong, bold, and a little strange. His houses and buildings are dotted across the country, and many of his most famous (like Fallingwater, seen above) are open to the public. Here are five you must see.

Robie House, Chicago Santi Visalli/Getty Images Robie House, Chicago Nestled in the University of Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, the home dates back to 1910 and is one of the last (and most innovative) in Wright's Prairie School style. It's a study in both horizontality and integration — all aspects, inside and out, work as one. Robie House, Interior Buyenlarge/Getty Images Robie House, Interior The 13,000-square-foot home has changed hands numerous times over its more than 100-year history, serving variously as a refectory, a dormitory, and an office space. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, and will be under renovation until 2019 — though it's still open to Wright enthusiasts for touring and perusing. Hollyhock House, Los Angeles Santi Visalli/Getty Images Hollyhock House, Los Angeles Built between 1919 and 1921 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, Hollyhock was Wright's first L.A. project in what would become his quest to formulate a new Southern California style. He often referred to the house as "California Romanza," co-opting a musical term for "freedom to make one's own form." Hollyhock House, Interior Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images Hollyhock House, Interior Named after a favorite flower of Barnsdall's, Hollyhock boasts floral motifs throughout — just one example of how the interior incorporates the exterior. Another: The structure is situated around an expansive courtyard, and each room opens to some sort of outdoor deck or green space. Hollyhock House, Interior Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images Hollyhock House, Interior With construction costs mounting, Barnsdall donated the house to the City of Los Angeles in 1927. Like Robie House, Hollyhock has seen a number of different tenants, including an art gallery and a USO facility. Renovations began in 1974, but the home was damaged during the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. A more recent restoration project concluded in 2015, with the home now open to visitors. Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona Jim Steinfeldt/Getty Images Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona Wright's "desert labratory," Taliesin West was the architect's winter home from 1937 until his death in 1959. Today the compound houses the main campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Taliesin West, Interior Jim Steinfeldt/Getty Images Taliesin West, Interior Named after Wright's summer home — Taliesin, in Wisconsin — the house utilizes construction materials sourced from its surroundings, like desert rocks, and is designed to let in lots of natural light (the better to work in, according to Wright). It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. The Rosenbaum House, Florence, Alabama Buyenlarge/Getty Images The Rosenbaum House, Florence, Alabama This home is one of five dozen designed in Wright's "Usonian" style — single-storied, often L-shaped houses that utilize native materials. The Rosenbaum House is often considered the "purest" example of the Usonian ideal, and also has the distinction of being the only Wright built in Alabama. The Rosenbaum House, Interior Buyenlarge/Getty Images The Rosenbaum House, Interior In the late 1930s, newlyweds Mildred and Stanley were looking for a starter home in Stanley's hometown of Florence, but couldn't find anything they liked. A New York friend suggested they reach out to Wright, who had recently begun focusing on middle-class housing. The home was finished in 1939 and expanded in 1948 to accommodate the growing family — it stayed in the Rosenbaums' possession until 1999 when it was donated to the city of Florence. A renovation followed, after which the house's doors were open in 2002. Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania Archive Photos/Getty Images Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania Arguably Wright's most famous home, Fallingwater sits atop a rugged hill in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania. Completed in 1939, it's one of Wright's most literal attempts to marry nature and art, built, in part, over a waterfall. Fallingwater, Interior Chicago History Museum/Getty Images Fallingwater, Interior Once again, Wright favored a design that would blur the line between indoors and outdoors — with big picture windows and stone flooring that extends out to attached terraces. It's said you can even hear the sound of the rushing falls — especially during the spring melt — while safely nestled inside.