All Wright Walk 2014: Hills-DeCaro House (1906)

It is difficult to believe that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hills-DeCaro House (1906) was originally a Stick-style house that Wright was commissioned to remodel by Nathan Moore who the property next door. It is even more difficult to believe that most of the existing structure was rebuilt in the late 1970’s after a devastating fire destroyed all but the first floor of the home. The home is jointly named for the home’s original owners the Hills and for the DeCaros who restored the home close to Wright’s original vision.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Hills-DeCaro House (1906, restored 1977-78), Oak Park, IL.

With steeply pitched roofs and flared eaves, the home is an example of Japanese influence on Wright’s architecture after his 1905 trip there. The Peter A. Beachy House also exhibits this Eastern style.

Hills-DeCaro House exterior detail of roof and eaves.

imageA restored ticket booth from 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition graces the home’s side yard.

All photos credit: Bill Bowen © 2014.

All Wright Walk 2014: Isabel Roberts House (1908)

This past May, Design and Desire in the Twentieth Century celebrated our fourth anniversary by going on the road to attend the Frank Lloyd Wright Trusts’ All Wright 2014 house walk and fundraiser.

The Trust is also celebrating an important anniversary (although much more significant than ours), the 125th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois. To mark this occasion, this year’s house walk features all Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes — including one home seldom open to the public, the Isabel Roberts House in neighboring River Forest.

Early in her career Isabel Roberts worked as a draftsman in Wright’s Oak Studio. According to the brochure that accompanied the All Wright Walk, Wright designed the structure a home for Miss Roberts, her mother and an unmarried sister. Miss Roberts later moved to Florida and established her own architectural firm there.

In 1927 new owners made changes to the home’s exterior. They hired as the project’s architect, William Drummond whose own home can be seen in the background of this photo.

The home changed owners again and in 1955 the current owners “persuaded Wright himself to remodel the interior.”1 Wright updated the flooring and woodwork and added a dramatic stepped ceiling consistent with the style of the interiors of architect’s 1950s Usonian buildings.

Left Frank Lloyd Wright, Isabel Roberts House (1908), River Forest, IL.
Right: William E. Drummond House (1909)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Isabel Roberts House (1908), River Forest, IL.

All photos credit: Bill Bowen © 2014.


1. Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, (2014). All Wright Walk [Brochure].

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal at MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is currently running Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal, an exhibition that explores the architect’s philosophy regarding the development of the American City during the period between the two World Wars. Wright’s iconic large-scale model for “Broadacre City" is the centerpiece of the show, which features drawings, architectural models and films that were included in the recent joint acquisition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extensive archive by MoMA and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.

For details visit MoMA’s web site. The show runs now through June 1, 2014.


Frank Lloyd Wright. Drawings for Broadacre City Project, (1932).

SAVED: 1954 Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1954 Usonian home, the Bachman Wilson House, has been purchased by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Increasingly threatened by floods in its original location in New Jersey, the structure will be disassembled and moved a thousand miles to its new home.

According to, which posted the news regarding the Bachman Wilson House, “In light of the threat to the building, this approach was supported by both the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Borough of Millstone Historic District Commission.”

Read more about the preservation of the Bachman Wilson House on

Frank Lloyd Wright, Bachman Wilson House, Millwood, NJ (1954).
Photo credit: © Tarantino Studio 2013; courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Image Source

Frank Lloyd Wright Desk Withdrawn from Sotheby’s Auction

Thank you to our friend Dave @ Daltons American Decorative Arts for sharing this news item from the ArtInfo blog on auction house Sotheby’s decision to remove from last month’s important 20th century design auction a desk and chair form the S.C. Johnson and Son Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The S.C. Johnson Company sued Sotheby’s to remove the items from the sale claiming the desk and chair had been stolen.

Read details on

Johnson wax Administration building desk

Frank Lloyd Wright, S. C. Johnson Wax Administration Building Desk (1938).


Edgar Tafel Archive Open For Research

Edgar A. Tafel

William Bowen (editor’s husband) receives first-hand accounts of working with Frank Lloyd Wright from Edgar A. Tafel at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference, February 1996. Photo credit: Joanne Capella.

Edgar Tafel may not be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of significant Twentieth Century architects, but Mr. Tafel, as one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest apprentices at Talesin, occupies a particular place in Twentieth Century architectural history.

Tafel recounted his experiences working on Wright’s most important private residence, Fallingwater, in his book Years with Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius. Mr. Tafel was a renown architect in his own right. According to Tafel’s obituary in the New York Times,” Mr. Tafel designed 80 houses, 35 religious buildings and 3 college campuses, among other projects.” Edgar Tafel died in January 2011.

The archive of Mr. Tafel’s work and papers at the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library's Drawings & Archives Department has now been cataloged and is open for research. Thank you goes our to our friends at PrairieMod for passing the news along to us.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s A.D. German Warehouse Has a New Owner

There’s great news out of Richland Center, Wisconsin for Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s Web site ( reports that Wright’s A.D. German Warehouse (1916-1921) has recently been purchased by a local resident. According to the Building Conservancy’s Web site:

The property was purchased from the estate of Harvey Glanzer and closed on August 15. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous and did not wish to disclose the amount of the sale. 

The site further states that the new owner is currently working with local organizations for future plans for the building and its adaptive reuse.

Read the entire press release on

A.D. German Warehouse

Frank Lloyd Wright, A.D. German Warehouse (1916-1921), Richland Center, Wisconsin.

Frank Lloyd Wright Crashed on Park Avenue

A significant piece of New York City’s architectural heritage was lost early in April 2013 when the Hoffmann Auto Showroom interior designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and considered a fore runner of the Guggenheim Museum design, was demolished. The showroom had been on the first floor of a building located at the corner of Park Avenue and East 56th Street.

According to Crain’s New York Business, owners of the building applied for a demolition permit for the showroom on March 28, 2013, less than one week after “the Landmarks Preservation Commission called the owners of 430 Park Ave. to tell them the city was considering designating the Wright showroom…as the city’s 115th interior landmark.”

Crain’s went on to say that by the end of the following week the showroom had been totally gutted leaving no trace of Mr. Wright’s design.

Read the entire article and see a video report on Crain’s New York Business.

Thank you to Frank Lloyd Wright Newsblog for bringing this sad tale to our attention.

Hoffman Auto Showroom
Frank Lloyd Wright, Drawing for Hoffman Auto Showroom, New York City (1955). Demolished. Copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home Movies

writes in the Milwaukee Museum of Art's blog “Under the Wings" about a recent donation to the institution’s archives of films from the personal collection of Joan Salzstein, the grandaughter of architect Dagmar Adler. The donated films features candid shots of Frank Lloyd Wright interacting with students and visitors at Taliesin his home in Wisconsin.

According to Kohn, “Wright worked for and studied under Adler, and his granddaughter Joan became a regular visitor to Wright’s home and farm at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin for many years. During those visits, she captured the atmosphere of daily life at Taliesin on film.”

Read the entire blog post and see more interesting stills.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Olgivanna Wright in the garden, late 1930s-early 1940s. Photo credit: Still from a film from the personal collection of Joan Salzstein. Milwaukee Art Museum, Institutional Archives.

Happy 50th Anniversary Marin County Civic Center

A big thanks to Prairie Mod for sharing an article about a special postmark commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most futuristic looking buildings, the Marin County Civic Center. Read More.

At fifty the Marin County Civic Center Still looks far ahead of its time.

Watch a slide show of the Marin County Civic Center by California architect Ron Yeo.

Marin county civic center

Frank Lloyd Wright. Marin County Civic Center, San Raphael, CA (1963).