Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Penfield House, or, End of the semester = Time To Blog

Oh, people. I'm free from school until after the new year. My relief is immense.

Now. Finally. The post I've been trying to sit down and write for a week -- the post about the other house we saw when we were in Cleveland.

C & C, huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans, invited us to stay at FLW-designed (!) Penfield House.

I have been to Taliesin West in Arizona. I have seen books. I have heard the Frank Lloyd Wright hype. I thought his buildings were interesting and I liked the idea of organic architecture. But it is now, after my weekend in Cleveland at Penfield House, that I can honestly say I am a fan.

Louis Penfield was 6’8”. The story goes that Penfield drove to Taliesin in Wisconsin and asked Mr. Wright to build him a house. Mr. Wright had Penfield stand under a beam (to gauge his height is the only reason I can think of) and accepted the challenge. The result was a very long, very tall house built for a very tall, very skinny man. And it is beautiful, this house.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? This is the view when you walk in the front door (a very tall and skinny front door!)(off to the left is a short hallway that leads to the kitchen):

Here’s the view back towards the front door (if I'm remembering correctly, the chair in this picture was actually designed by FLW for the other FLW-designed house the Penfields have the blue prints for):

The living room in the evening. The lighting really was this warm:

The Japanese-influenced end of the living room. The bamboo outside was fantastic:

These lights? I covet them:

The view from the farthest end of the living room looking back. The kitchen is to the right of the fireplace, front door to the left.

All of the little boxes on the wall have lights in them (see the “evening” photo above).

The living room and it’s wonderful view out the wall of windows:

(The floor cement was colored when it was wet so it never needs to be painted. Also? The floor is heated.)

The kitchen. Galley style – no oven in FLW’s design.

Up the very narrow stairs. The risers were very deep. Designed for big feet, I guess.

The master bedroom:

The other side of the master bedroom.

There was a full bath and two more bedrooms upstairs. We did not get pictures of those. Half-bath on the ground floor.

Mr. Penfield's son, Paul, restored the house over a four year period. You can read about that here: http://www.penfieldhouse.com/article_toh.htm (here’s a link to the TOH magazine cover: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/magazines/0,,725319,00.html)

The family owns plans for another FLW house (to be called River Rock). When we took a walk around the property, we found a staked-off site. We are hoping beyond hope that what we saw is the site for River Rock. Because it'll look like this:


eurolush said...

Wow. What an amazing experience!


PS-Thanks for sharing...I'll have to show this to my husband later. He loves FLW.

blackbird said...

Thanks so much for these wonderful photos - they gave me a few minutes to dream of living in a work of art.

Molly's Mom said...

That is so. cool. J and I were at the Taliesin Gift Shop in Wisconsin on our way to The House on the Rock, but didn't go to the house itself. If we go that way again and have an opportunity to get away kid-free, I would totally go there, especially after reading the book!!!

And I love craftsman style homes, furniture, whatever. LOVE IT.

penny said...

I would love to visit Fallingwater. As often as we've been to Pittsburgh, I don't know why I never have.

Although it's not FLW, I would love to see the Infinity Room at House on the Rock.

Wendy said...

That staircase is gorgeous. Like climbing sculpture.

Eleanor said...

Merry Christmas dear Tuli! May your home always be filled with designer laughter and well-built health.

Love, Eleanor xxxx