Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t just America’s most famous architect, he’s likely the only architect most people have ever heard of. There’s a really good reason that he becomes so famous; his creations are timeless pieces of art in addition to livable spaces.
Thankfully, Wright was recognized in his lifetime for his brilliance. This has led to a great number of his houses being preserved in unchanged condition. There is a fabulous mid-century modern house of his for sale currently that looks exactly like it did when it was built.
The house sits on over three acres of land in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. While the winters are long and cold there, the suburb sits on the outskirts of bustling Minneapolis.
Wright liked to meet with the future inhabitants of his houses and so met with the Olfelt family while designing this home for them in 1958. It was finally completed in 1960 and the Olfelts moved in.
Dr. Olfelt himself penned a touching explanation of designing the home with Wright. He wrote, “From the early days of our marriage my wife and I hoped to build a home to satisfy our family needs and our desire to live in a place of beauty. This did not necessarily mean luxury, vastness or automatic splendor.”
“We hoped for a refuge from the world for part of our day, a place where we could enjoy nature and the beauty of man’s creativeness in harmony with nature. We wanted a home that by virtue of its character would help us and our children be dissatisfied with the ordinary.”
Olfelt spoke glowingly about Wright’s dedication to making the home not only beautiful but livable. After almost a decade in the house, Olfelt was astonished by how wonderfully adapted the house was to his family.
He wrote, “After living in the home for nearly nine years we are extremely pleased with it. We never truly understood Mr. Wright’s philosophy but every day we sense an honesty in the intrinsic beauty and freedom of his design. It is a comfortable home also. The concrete floors are heated, producing an even heat. The brick walls have a warm feeling and are relatively free of maintenance, as is the rest of the house.”
While some will view the house as dated in a pejorative sense, others will surely see it as a wonderful preservation of Wright’s vision. The chevrons and minimalist wall clock may have gone out of fashion, but the tall windows never will.
This home would look right at home in a season of Fargo that took place in the ’60s. In fact, we’re a little surprised the Coen Brothers haven’t snatched up this rare property in their hometown of St. Louis Park.
Some of the architectural decisions seem downright puzzling. Why are there odd angles in the bathroom or brick walls in the shower?
The likely answer is that Wright did his best to give his clients everything they wanted in the house for the best possible price. At times, that meant skimping on flourishes or creating space where there wouldn’t normally be any.
Wright was able to build houses for very affordable prices at the time. Unfortunately for potential buyers, the price has gone up slightly. This 3-bedroom home is currently on the market for $1,395,000.