Frank Lloyd Wright Houses: 9 Homeowners Share Their Honest Experiences Living in the Architect’s Creations

When I first moved to New York, I made just one stop while trekking from Indiana to Brooklyn: Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Arguably the most iconic of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, I spent most of the tour admiring the cantilevered rooms, listening to the sound of the waterfall below, and wondering what it would be like to live in a home designed by the American architect. Though my experience was confined to a 1.5-hour tour, even in that short period, I felt like something shifted. I could only imagine what his work would inspire when it became part of one’s daily life.

For some people, this is their reality. Every morning and night, Wright’s work shelters and comforts them—and has profound impacts on the ways they view the world. Below, AD speaks with nine homeowners about living in one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses and how the experience has shaped them.

Goetsch-Winckler House (Okemos, Michigan)

When Nate Meyer was a child, his parents took him on a family trip through Pennsylvania. His dad—a longtime admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright houses—was particularly keen to visit residences by the architect while in the area and brought Meyer to Fallingwater. “That was a defining moment in my childhood,” he remembers. But after visiting Kentuck Knob, one of the Wright’s Usonian homes in Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania, Meyer’s fate was sealed. “I was asking my dad about this the other night, and he told me that after seeing Kentuck Knob, I said to him, ‘I have to live in a house like [that].’”

A historic photo from 1941 shows the Goetsch-Winckler House shortly after construction.

Photo: Hedrich Blessing Collection/Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

Last December, when he and his wife purchased the Goetsch-Winckler house in Okemos, Michigan, the proclamation came to fruition. “Call it a bucket list item, but I never really expected it to actually happen,” he says. Before the pandemic, he and his wife were living in San Fransisco, but, like many whose jobs became more flexible, they decided to leave the Bay Area to buy a home in a more affordable area. “I always knew ever since I was a kid that I really wanted to live in a home that was architecturally significant,” he says. They ultimately landed in Michigan in a home designed by Francis “Red” Warner (a student of Alden B. Dow, who was a student of Wright). They’d spent the past two years restoring the residence, but when the Goetsch-Winckler house came on the market, it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. “The value of our primary residence had gone up significantly because of the work we’d put in, so we were able to leverage that equity into being able to make an offer,” he explains.

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