A Frank Lloyd Wright House Is One Of America's Most Endangered Historic Places

A local foundation is raising funds to restore it.

Years of exposure to hurricanes and high winds have taken their toll on Frank Lloyd Wright's Spring House, the only private residence the architect designed in Florida. This year, the National Trust For Historic Preservation has listed the home as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Wright built the Tallahassee, Florida, house for banker George Lewis and his wife Clifton, whose family lived in the house until 2010. The boat-shaped building, completed in 1954 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, is particularly significant as one of just a handful of Wright's late "hemicycle" (semicircle) style works.

At 50 years old, the house has a few major issues. Longtime exposure to wind storms and hurricanes has allowed water to seep into the house, causing interior damage. Several cyprus beams are beginning to deteriorate at their bases, and the house's wood siding has begun to show signs of insect and woodpecker damage.

Spring House Institute, a nonprofit founded in 1996 by Clifton Lewis, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to restore the house. The nonprofit has already raised $96,000, and is seeking another $161,000.

[h/t Archinect]

[Videos: via The Spring House Institute]

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3 Comments

  • I might be missing the point somewhat, but if it's only 60 (or 50?) years old and it's falling apart, then surely it wasn't designed very well (in any way other than aesthetically), right? What happened to the idea of 'function over form'? My house was built in the 1930s and it is still in perfect condition despite having stood empty for 30 years (1982 to 2012) in the middle of cold, wet, rainy England!