The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art just acquired a rare Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House, and the institution plans to transport it from the Borough of Millstone in New York to Crystal Bridges’ 120-acre grounds in Bentonville, Arkansas. Known as the Bachman Wilson House, the building has sustained great damage over the past decades due to flooding. However, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art plans to renovate and showcase the historic home.
In 1954, the Bachmans commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design their home. The recent owners, Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, bought the property in 1998. By that time, the house had already been flooded a few times. The home was restored according to F.L. Wright’s original construction documents, but the flooding increased over time and forced the owners to put the house on the market in 2012. A special condition for the sale was that the house would have to be moved to another, more suitable site. The house components, including all built-in furnishings and furniture, will be carefully loaded into container trucks, transported to Arkansas and reassembled on site.
The house is a pavilion-style building with tall masonry, and alternating horizontal and vertical planes form the space. It has 16-by-54-foot-long mahogany-framed glazed panels and swinging double doors that create a connection between the interior and the exterior. F.L. Wright’s Usonian houses are distinctive in their use of natural materials, and they represent an important part of America’s architectural history. A few of the homes are part of the world’s largest single-site collection of Wright’s completed buildings on Florida Southern College’s campus.