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Location: Bernardsville, New Jersey
Rare opportunity in northern New Jersey: The oldest and largest of four Frank Lloyd Wright designs in the Garden State has come on the open market for the first time in decades. Sitting on seven acres of secluded woodlands, the 1940 James B. Christie House embodies Wright’s Usonian concept, which called for simple, single-story dwellings that embrace natural materials and a strong visual connection to the outdoors.
The expansive horizontal structure, built from cypress wood, brick, and glass, features an L-shape plan common to Wright’s Usonian houses. Here, the living and dining areas sit perpendicular to a wing of bedrooms, and the kitchen takes up the intersecting corner. Glass walls, clerestory windows, and original built-in seating, tables, and chairs can be found throughout the home.
Already quite large at the original 2,000 square feet—here’s Wright’s colored rendering of the house, which is part of the MoMA’s permanent collection—the Christie house expanded to roughly 2,700 square feet after the property switched hands in 1994. The new owners enlisted local firm and Frank Lloyd Wright preservation specialist Tarantino Studio to add a master bedroom suite that had been part of the original plans but was not constructed initially. The sunken space includes a bright sitting area—complete with its own huge brick fireplace and built-ins—that separates the bedroom from the bath.
In October 2015, the three-bedroom property sold privately for $1,700,000. Now it’s on the market seeking $2,200,000, with a new heating system and roof in place.