The only house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Illinois, has hit the market for only the second time since it was commissioned in 1950.
The brown brick home, known as the Carr House, reflects Wright’s Usonian style, a term he coined to describe architecture informed by the American landscape, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. They were often modestly sized, low-slung homes, built with materials that invoked the surrounding terrain.
Carr House, which hit the market last week for $1.695 million, is very much a reflection of the densely forested property, which sits within a nature preserve known as The Grove.
Rich mahogany adorns the home’s cantilevered ceilings, with thick beams that extend outdoors as part of the overhanging roofline. And like the facade, much of the interior walls, including the living room fireplace, are made of brick, some of it pierced with cutouts to let light through—a signature element of Wright designs, said listing agent Erica Goldman of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty.
More than 30 pairs of glass French doors offset the heavy brick construction and frame the idyllic wooded grounds, while numerous skylights puncture the ceiling to bring in more daylight, images of the home show.
The house has only traded hands once before, said Ms. Goldman, who’s listing the home alongside Christopher Stephens, also of Sotheby’s International Realty. It’s named after the original owner, John O. Carr, who sold the property in 1965 to Carol Ann and Edward Busche. The home has come up for sale for the first time in five decades following Carol Ann’s death earlier this year. She was in her 80s.
The Busches expanded the property three times beginning in the 1980s, adding a large primary bedroom suite, extending the dining room and creating a larger family room that overlooks the heated swimming pool—doubling the footprint to nearly 3,000 square feet. Edward, an architect himself, was “fanatical” about preserving the home’s authenticity and scoured the market for matching building materials, Ms. Goldman said.
“It was all completely done in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright,” she said. It now has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and one partial bathroom, according to the listing.
The home has kept a fairly low profile considering its provenance.
The Chicago suburbs are famous for their abundance of Wright-designed homes, which attract tour buses of oolging architecture enthusiasts. But this particular address has remained off of the tour circuit and does not carry any official landmark designation, in large part, because the owners were “fiercely private,” according to the agent.
Carol Ann, who had flirted with selling the property several years before her death, told Crain’s Chicago Business in 2014 that they’d preferred “having this special place to ourselves.” She compared it to living “right out in the middle of the trees.”