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Original Frank Lloyd Wright home owners on living with design history

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Only five Wright homes are still in the hands of their original owners

The great room at the Minneapolis home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for radiologist Paul C. Olfelt in 1958. It hit the market in June for just under $1.4 million.
Photo by LANDMARK

Frank Lloyd Wright fans will love this: A new piece in WSJ magazine tracks down the original owners of Wright-designed private residences across the U.S. Today, there are just five such homes, in states as far and wide as New York, Tennessee, and California.

The piece offers snapshots of life alongside the work of an outsize design icon, and a common theme throughout is the sense of purpose and affirmation Wright’s homes offered homeowners, well into advanced age. Wright-home owner Roland Reisley, 92, who lives in Westchester, New York, told WSJ:

“It’s pure speculation, but I have reason to believe that living with a source of beauty in a comforting, enriching environment is psychologically beneficial. There’s not a day of my life when I don’t see something beautiful: the sun on a particular stone; the way the wood is mitered.”

It’s a romantic sentiment, and one echoed by other WSJ interviewed for the story.

The writer also spends some time with Helen and Paul Olfelt, a retired couple in Minneapolis who very reluctantly placed their house on the market last summer due to “health concerns.”

That house, on a nearly four-acre parcel, is in pristine condition—and you’d pay $1.4 million for the priceless privilege of owning it. You can take a virtual tour of the house here and read WSJ’s piece in full, to hear about the other Wright homes in original hands, right over here.