clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Frank Lloyd Wright 300-Grand-or-Less Deathmatch

New, 8 comments

While Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, high above Los Angeles, has been choppity-chop-chop-chopped from $15M to less than $8M since it hit the market last June, nary an earthling has snapped it up—the likely future owner is Ron Burkle, who has guaranteed the property's $4.5M construction loan. Sigh. If it takes a billionaire to scoop up such a listing, what's a mere mortal to do? Fret not—turns out there are two FLW-designed homes currently on the market that each ring in at less than $300K. Neither is anywhere near Los Angeles County—think of all the time you'll save not sitting in traffic—and both have a mix of original and updated features. We pit the Delbert W. Meier House (left) against the Alvin Miller House and see which comes out on top.



· Name: Meier Residence
· Price: $169,000
· Location: Monona, Iowa
· Built in: 1917
· Historical deets: Part of FLW's American System-Built Homes system, a group of seven standardized model homes constructed from pre-cut lumber to keep on-site labor costs down.
· Sq. Ft.: 2,000
· Bed/bath: 3/2
· Features: original maple flooring, leaded windows, fireplace, pebbled ash quartz stucco siding, original photos and blueprints from original owner available
· Updates: reno'd living room, HVAC, roof, refinished flooring, appliances


· Name: Alvin Miller Residence
· Price: $275,000
· Location: Charles City, Iowa
· Built in: 1946; plus FLW-designed addition in 1995
· Historical deets: One of FLW's Usonian Homes, which feature a single story, flat roofs, cantilevered overhangs, clerestory windows, efficient heating/cooling, and strong attention to the indoor/outdoor flow.
· Sq. Ft.: 2,939
· Bed/bath: 4/3
· Features: limestone, concrete, glass and red tidewater cypress on the interior/exterior; original plants and retaining wall
· Updates: some interior walls, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, HVAC, wiring
· For more info: Parson Real Estate Co. VERDICT: Both houses seem to be set in fairly bad public-school towns, but Charles City is far bigger (pop. about 7,500 vs. Monona's 1,500), with a smattering of historic properties and the proud badge of being the national birthplace of the tractor. That aside, the exposed-stone walls and gleaming cypress (not to mention sweet courtyard areas formed by the cantilever) in the Miller house had us at hello, anyway. And, frankly, the Meier kitchen—where to even begin. Sure, Miller needs a ton of work. But consider what else one can buy in the region for roughly the same price point. So if you're gonna go for a ranch, in this town, in this era, you might as well go for one carved by the hand of god himself, right?

· Another Huge Drop for Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House [Curbed LA]
· FLW's Textile Block Houses Could Go to Ron Burkle, Japan [Curbed LA}
· Properties for Sale [SAVE WRIGHT]