Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penfield House is Back on the Market

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penfield House is Back on the Market

This 1,730-square-foot house in Ohio is one of the nine Usonian houses the architect designed in the state, and can be yours for $1.3 million.

Built in 1955, the Louis Penfield House in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, is one of nine Usonian houses Frank Lloyd Wright designed in the state. The three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom single family house is now listedfor sale by Howard Hanna Real Estate Service for $1.3 million. Included in the price are more than just the Penfield House. You also get the plans for the Riverrock House—an unbuilt residence Wright designed in 1957, and which is believed to be his last residential commission—and its original 11-acre lot. Your $1.3 million also gets you an 1867 farmhouse and a 1940s cottage, neither of which were designed by Wright.

Named after artist Louis Penfield, who commissioned Wright to design a house to accommodate his 6-foot-8-inch frame, the house features an exceptionally high ceiling, a narrow floating staircase, tall doors, and 12-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the surrounding wooded area and a distant overlook to the nearby Chagrin River.

According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Penfield ceased construction as soon as the overall cost hit the $25,000 budget he had agreed on. As a result, a number of Wright’s original custom-designed furniture and cabinets were not built. After inheriting the house from his father, Paul Penfield completed the furniture set based on Wright’s original design and undertook a four-year-long restoration, for which he sourced wood from the house’s farmland.

In 2003, the Penfield House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and, since then, has operated as a vacation rental. “This allows Wright enthusiasts a chance to have the place all to themselves, to experience it not as a house museum, but as their own home, like I did as a kid,” says Paul Penfield in a November 2004 article in This Old House Magazine. “Besides, nobody just lives in a Wright house: they evolve in it. I’m not the same guy I was four years ago. By the time I’d taught myself carpentry, cabinetry, welding, wiring, plumbing, heating, masonry and how to operate bulldozers and backhoes, I’d changed. Maybe that’s the real meaning behind the word ‘organic’: change. While I restored the house, the house was restoring me.”