Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house for sale
Toyhill, the first home the great architect built in the Usonia community in Pleasantville, features a central fireplace, built-in furnishings.
The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan, is now for sale for $1.5 million (U.S.).
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs appealed to consumers and critics in a way that no other American had before his time. In a career spanning over 70 years, he worked during a time of innovative and improved building materials that no longer required homes to have tiny windows and low ceilings to preserve heat in the winter and screened sleeping porches to catch a slight breeze in the heavy night air of deep summer.
Wright understood human nature and its love of space, freedom and connection to the natural environment. As children dreamed of living in tree houses, Wright modified the concept for adults that would touch their inner child’s sense of wonder.
Some of his clients had land with special features they wanted to highlight. Wright’s most famous residential project, Fallingwater, was designed over a waterfall for the Pittsburgh Kaufmann Department Store family. He studied the land at length and built the house with the waterfall as the focal point.
After World War II, he knew returning soldiers would need affordable homes so in the 1940s he developed a new concept that people could build mostly by themselves with a minimum of help and expense. He named them Usonian and one of the developments he started was located north of New York City in Pleasantville.
Usonian living areas had a fireplace as a point of focus. Bedrooms, typically isolated and relatively small, encouraged the family to gather in the main living areas. The built-in furnishings related to the Arts and Crafts movement’s principles, which influenced Wright’s early work. Spatially and in terms of their construction, the Usonian houses represented a new model for independent living and allowed dozens of clients to live in a Wright-designed house at relatively low cost. His Usonian homes set a new style for suburban design that influenced countless developers. Many features of modern homes date back to Wright: open plans, slab-on-grade foundations and simplified construction techniques that allowed more mechanization and efficiency in building. A total of 47 homes were built by various builders in Pleasantville and homes on the 100-acre site were built at prices ranging from $10,000 to $85,000 (many of the homes have been expanded over the years and sell for well over $1 million). Wright designed three homes; the first one he built was Toyhill, better known as the Sol Friedman House. Friedman was a book and record merchant who also sold toys in some of his stores. Wright picked up on that point of interest and decided upon the name Toyhill for the home.
It was a combination of a large treehouse and a small Guggenheim Museum with two circular interconnecting levels topped by a mushroom-shaped roof. Wright also coined the term “carport” and created one for the Friedman house, also with a mushroom roof. The exterior of the house is sloped and covered in finely worked ashlar masonry, giving the aura of having just grown out of the ground.
At 2,164 square feet of living space, the interior includes cathedral ceilings, skylights, walls of glass to capture the bucolic surrounds, three bedrooms, three baths and Wright’s signature large stone fireplace, which he believed critical for families to gather around for conversation at the end of the day.
Now for sale priced at $1.5 million (U.S.) is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important Usonian homes, the The Sol Friedman House, in the Usonian Historic District in Pleasantville, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan.
More information available at amyvia.houlihanlawrence.com
Source: Top Ten Real Estate Deals