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Thanks to a joint effort between the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, and the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, touring iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed properties is now easier than ever. You don’t even have to leave your house, let alone trek to each location. Through an initiative called Wright Virtual Visits, which shares tour videos online of more than 20 Wright buildings, you can enjoy the famed architect's work from almost anywhere. Check out these tours of six homes designed by Wright in popular cities around the country.
Taliesin West, Arizona
In the winter, Wright left his home state of Wisconsin to enjoy nicer weather at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 1937 home, called Taliesin West, is now both a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wright initially intended to make the property a utopic complex reflecting the surrounding desert expanse, using only materials found locally to construct it. Taliesin West has since been updated with permanent, stronger materials during renovations and add-ons. Wright spent every winter at Taliesin West until he died in 1959.
Emil Bach House, Illinois
Located in Rogers Park, the northernmost neighborhood of Chicago, the Emil Bach House exists because of a previous Wright-designed home nearby. The original house, commissioned by the Steffens family in 1909, was purchased by a brickyard worker named Otto Bach. His brother, Emil (later the president of Bach Brick Company), loved the house so much that he commissioned his own from Wright in 1915. It’s a compact, prairie-style home with design elements that would later become Wright’s signature style in the future, including details such as modern window and geometric shapes. Bach lived in the home until 1934, and it’s currently a vacation rental and event venue.
Hollyhock House, California
Built in 1917, the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles was Wright's first building on the West Coast. It was commissioned by Aline Barnsdall, the heir of a massive oil company, who approached Wright while he was embroiled in controversy and personal scandal. Barnsdall wanted a home that was half-house, half-garden, and Wright achieved that with terraces, pergolas, and colonnades. But Barnsdall’s full original vision never actually came to fruition; she wanted a complex of theaters, stores, and houses to create an avant-garde theater retreat. Barnsdall and Wright disagreed over finances and artistic vision, and the project stalled after just three homes were built (including Hollyhock).
The Burnham Block, Wisconsin
Throughout his career, Wright was a champion of affordable housing. He found a unique joy in designing for low-income and moderate-income families, a sentiment he put to work in houses called “American system-built homes.” The idea was to have all construction pieces cut in a factory, then shipped to the homesite for building. Out of more than 900 sketches for these homes, six example properties were built on the 2700 block of West Burnham in Milwaukee. The homes were constructed in 1915 and 1916 but didn't have any actual buyers until 1919.
Laurent House, Illinois
Located a little more than an hour outside Chicago, the Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois, was Wright’s first fully accessible home. It was built in 1952 for a World War II veteran named Ken Laurent, who was paralyzed during a medical procedure. Laurent and his wife, Phyllis, had a long-distance relationship when they commissioned the house; Ken lived closer to Chicago in a rehabilitation facility and traveled to Rockford on the weekends to see Phyllis in their original (non-accessible) home. The Laurent House was designed with Ken's needs and unique perspective in mind, and every detail — from the height of the doorknobs to the overall floor plan — reflects that.
Martin House, New York
Depending on whom you ask, the Martin House in Buffalo, New York, may be Wright’s crowning achievement of his prairie-style body of work. The property actually has six buildings: the main Martin House, which is connected by a pergola to a conservatory and carriage house, a smaller house for Martin’s sister, and a gardener’s cottage. Construction on the main house was completed in 1905, and the entire complex was finished in 1909. Inside the complex, there are nearly 400 examples of Wright’s iconic art glass.