Frank Lloyd Wright
·

Explore Architectural Masterpieces at Frank Lloyd Wright Houses in Michigan

From the serene shores of Lake Michigan to the vibrant cityscapes of Grand Rapids and even a few places in the Upper Peninsula, Michiganders can discover the timeless allure of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces.

Wright designed over 1,000 structures in 70 years, becoming a pioneer of the so-called “Prairie School” movement of architecture. Hallmarks of that style include low-pitched roofs, a central chimney, no basements or attics, an open floor plan, and long rows of casement windows.

Wright’s work can be seen in 38 states, including nearly three dozen sites around the Great Lakes State. Some of these homes date back to the late 19th Century and some are available for public tours.

Curtis Meyer House | Galesburg

11108 Hawthorne Dr, Galesburg, MI 49053

Constructed in 1950-51 as part of a group of Galesburg homes known as The Acres, the Meyer House is a Usonian home featuring a hemicycle solar design and custom-built concrete blocks.

Over 13 years, the home was meticulously restored in several phases. While the Meyer House is a private residence, it is available for tours and rentals on Airbnb.

Palmer House | Ann Arbor

227 Orchard Hills Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

One of the most architecturally significant residences in Ann Arbor, the Palmer House was built in 1950 and sits near Nichols Arboretum on the hillside of a two-acre property. The house’s construction makes it seem like it’s coming out of the crest of the hill.

The home is noted for its use of equilateral triangles and hexagonal beds with few right angles. Polygonal cutouts on the exterior walls resemble abstract birds, adding to the home’s natural aesthetic. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places, is available to rent, and is open to the public.

Eric & Pat Pratt House | Galesburg

11036 Hawthorne Dr, Galesburg, MI 49053

Another of Galesburg’s The Acres homes, the Pratt House was designed by Wright in 1948 and is a single-story, I-style, Usonian home built by the Pratts.

The home is noted for its integration into the natural environment, including a patio and deck that are surrounded by and offer views of the landscape. The house is not currently open for tours but offers opportunities for overnight stays.

Affleck House | Bloomfield Hills

925 Bloomfield Woods Court, Bloomfield Hills

This Bloomfield Hills Usonian home was Wright’s answer to low-cost housing. Standing just one story, it eliminates the basement to save money and cut down on unusable space. The living and dining rooms and kitchen are merged together to form a unified space with large windows to enhance the living space.

The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public for tours.

Melvyn Maxwell Smith House | Bloomfield Hills

5045 Pon Valley Road, Bloomfield Hills

Completed in 1950, the Smith House was donated to the Cranbrook Educational Community in 2017. Built for schoolteachers Sara and Melvyn Smith, the house follows in the style of Wright’s Usonia houses with an open floor plan, large windows, and cantilevered roofs, which create a sense of spaciousness and connection to the outdoors.

The home is open for seasonal tours beginning in the first weekend in May with tours occurring on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The final tours for the season occur during the last weekend in November.

Meyer May House-Grand Rapids
Meyer May House | photo via idfkelly

Meyer May House | Grand Rapids

450 Madison Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Designed in 1908, for a Grand Rapids Clothier, the house has been restored to its original glory and opened to the public in 1987. Visitors can enjoy seeing original furnishings and exquisite reproductions and they see one of Wright’s Prairie homes as he intended.

Tours are free, reservations can be made online and the home can also be enjoyed online through art galleries.

 NOTE: Tour information is not available or tours are not allowed for each of the following Frank Lloyd Wright sites in Michigan

McCartney House | Kalamazoo

2662 Taliesin Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Constructed in 1949 for Ward and Helen McCartney, this 1,700-square-foot home blurs the lines between interior living and nature and is a testament to Wright’s Usonian home design. The house features expansive windows that allow natural light to pour into the central great room and also features Wright-designed tables.

Gale Summer Cottage | Whitehall

5318 S Shore Dr, Whitehall, MI 49461

Between 1897 and 1909, Wright designed four cottages in Whitehall on the shores of White Lake. The cottages are made with natural materials and are characterized by their simple geometric design.

The Gale Cottage was built for Thomas and Laura Gale in 1897 and is a two-story home with a hipped roof, large windows, and a functional interior.

Amberg House-Grand Rapids
Amberg House | photo via may_emk

Amberg House | Grand Rapids

505 College Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Designed for liquor wholesaler David Amberg and constructed in 1911, the Amberg House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and regarded as a landmark of Prairie School architecture.

The one-story, T-shaped house has a flat roof and an open, airy interior with a huge central living space. The exterior features colored ceramic tiles and an overhang that protects the home’s windows.

Arthur Heurtley Summer Cottage | Les Cheneaux Club, Marquette Island, Cedarville

Wright was commissioned to expand the summer home of Arthur and Grace Heurtley at the same time as he worked on the couple’s Illinois home.

Wright did extensive renovations, designing a large stone fireplace, reconfiguring the basement to include a kitchen and a dining room among other things, and expanded the bedrooms on the main floor.

Walter Gerts Cottage | Whitehall

5392 South Shore Drive, Whitehall

Constructed in 1902, this partially demolished Whitehall home featured front and back porches, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a large brick-faced fireplace at its center, and a shallow, wide chimney projecting out of a gently pitched roof.

Goetsch-Winkler House-Okemos
Goetsch-Winkler House | photo via goetschwincklerhouse

Goetsch-Winkler House | Okemos

2410 Hulett Road, Okemos

This 1940 home stands as an elegant example of Wright’s later Usonian style. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and is an “in-line” Usonian home — literally a home built in a straight line. It features a large living room, large banks of windows, and several built-in pieces such as a bar and a dining room table.

Carlton Wall House | Plymouth

12305 Beck Road, Plymouth

The Wall House, also called Snowflake is one of Wright’s more elaborately-designed Usonian homes. Constructed in 1941, it is known as Snowflake because of its hexagonal design. A series of hexagons radiates from a central area that branches off into several wings.

To “bring the outside in” and incorporate nature into the home, a brick retaining wall supports a terrace and doors without mullions and corners used throughout the home.

Amy Alpaugh Studio | Northport

71 North Peterson Park Road, Northport

Frank Lloyd Wright’s work can even be found in Leelanau County near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. While it’s tucked behind fences and gates, it was originally built as a studio for Alpaugh, who was a weaver and sold items at the National Cherry Festival.

The home, which may be considered inelegant by some, is built in an L-shape but cuts off about half the L. It also features a small living room and an incredible view of the peninsula.

Samuel Eppstein House-Galesburg
Samuel Eppstein House | photo via midmodmichigan

David Weisblatt House | Galesburg

11185 Hawthorne Drive, Galesburg

Situated within The Acres, this home was built in 1951 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is located on a disc-shaped wooded lot with rolling topography, mature landscaping, and a frog pond. An addition was added in 1961.

Samuel Eppstein House | Galesburg

11098 Hawthorne Dr, Galesburg, MI 49053

Designed in 1949 as one of Galesburg’s “The Acres” houses, the original design featured three bedrooms and two bathrooms with 2,250 square feet of living space. Like other Wright houses, it featured the use of natural materials, large windows, an open floor plan, and built-in practical living features.

Turkel House-Detroit
Turkel House | photo via chidet0315

Howard Anthony House | Benton Harbor

1150 Miami Road, Benton Harbor

Designed in 1949, the Anthony House was one of three Wright-designed homes built in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area within roughly five years. The Anthony House affords views of the St. Joseph River and features a design plan based on diamond-patterned modules.

In addition to a prominent chimney, the house has a low roof with overhanging eaves, giving it a floating appearance. It also has a balcony and plenty of windows to accommodate Howard Anthony, an avid bird watcher.

Turkel House | Detroit

2760 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit

Designed in 1955, the main attraction of the house is the central living area. This soaring space has 15-foot high ceilings and hundreds of pierced blocks with glass inset, allowing lots of natural light to pour in. After falling into despair in the last decades, efforts have been made to restore the home to its former glory.

Carl Schultz House-St. Joseph
Carl Schultz House | photo via tleefdesigns

Carl Schultz House | St. Joseph

2704 Highland Court, St. Joseph

The Schultz House was the last one that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Michigan. Sprawled out over 3,850 square feet, the home has four bedrooms and is the culmination of the Usonian style.

The home is situated in a wooded area on the St. Joesph River and sits at the edge of a neighborhood at the crest of a ravine. A cantilevered terrace is the focal point of the home’s design and overlooks the river.

Eric Brown House | Kalamazoo

2806 Taliesin Drive, Kalamazoo

Constructed in 1950, the single-story home has a slightly pitched roof and covers over 2,600 square feet of living space. The house is made of constructed concrete blocks and has a low appearance from the street since it’s set on a hillside.

The side that faces the street has a row of windows running the length of the house and the opposite facade overlooks Lorenz Lake, and contains large windows and doors running along that side.

Ernest Vosburgh House | New Buffalo

46208 Crescent Road, New Buffalo

Built in 1916, the Vosburgh house sits back from the Lake Michigan beach and alongside a small creek. Designed in the Prairie Style, it features a two-story glass living room and a red-brick fireplace.

Joseph Bagley House | New Buffalo

47017 Lakeview, New Buffalo

Designed in 1916, the home features a living room that faces Lake Michigan and is right above the beach. The home features several wings with multiple bedrooms, a glass terrace, a kitchen, and bathrooms.

Donald Schaberg House | Okemos

1155 Wrightwind Drive, Okemos

Designed in 1950 and completed in 1958, the Schaberg House features an open-gabled living room ceiling, a small kitchen, and three bedrooms. An addition of 1,200 square feet was added in 1966.

Ina Morris Harper House | St. Joseph

2598 Old Lakeshore Road, St. Joseph

The second Wright house in St. Joe is believed to be the last home built by the famous architect in Michigan. The home, which overlooks Lake Michigan, features a rectangular plan with two 45-degree protrusions — one in the living room and the other in the master bedroom.

The home features several characteristics of Wright’s later works, including hinged built-ins, banquette seating, board and batten walls, mitered glass corners, and recessed lighting. 

Ina Morris Harper House-St. Joseph
Ina Morris Harper House | photo via lookclosely.itmatters

James Edwards House | Okemos

2504 Arrowhead Road, Okemos

Completed in 1951, the Edwards home appears to rise from sloping terrain if seen from the road. The interior features a sunken, irregularly shaped living room and a bedroom addition that was added in 1968.

George Blossom Summer House | North Manitou Island

Part of the Island’s Cottage Row, the home was constructed in 1893 and it is believed that homeowners George and Carrie Blossom commissioned a young Wright to design the cottage.

Erling-Brauner House | Okemos

2527 Arrowhead Road, Okemos

Constructed in 1949, the Erling Brauner House was built on a cul-de-sac with the woods as a natural backdrop. The home is noted for its use of concrete blocks inset with glass for decoration and for letting in natural light.

Robert Winn House | Kalamazoo

2822 Taliesin Drive, Kalamazoo

Constructed in 1950 as part of Parkwyn Village in Kalamazoo, the Winn House was the last of Wright homes to be built in the area. It’s also considered to be the only one that’s two stories and is noted for its curved design.

Robert &Amp; Rae Levin House-Kalamazoo
Robert & Rae Levin House | photo via franklloydwrightfan

Robert & Rae Levin House | Kalamazoo

2816 Taliesin Drive, Kalamazoo

The Levin House was the first Wright home constructed in Parkwyn Village and constructed in 1948 and is noted for its pinwheel effect because of the design plan’s irregular protrusions. The home was built with concrete blocks and red Tidewater cypress interior trim. A playroom with a basement was added in 1960.

Abby Beecher Roberts House | Marquette

County Highway 492, Marquette

Compared with some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s more famous works, this Upper Peninsula home in the woods flies under the radar. Still, the home retains many classic Usonian elements. The most significant element is a gallery that acts as a “spine” for the layout of the house’s rooms. 

Eric &Amp; Pat Pratt House-Galesburg
Eric & Pat Pratt House | photo via franklloydwrightfan

Lewis Goddard House | Plymouth

12221 Beck Road, Plymouth

One of two Wright homes in Plymouth, the Goddard House was designed in 1953 and harmoniously blends with its natural surroundings. The house features distinctive elements such as the use of red tidewater cypress lumber and a layout that maximizes natural light and airflow.

George Gerts Double House Bridge Cottage | Whitehall

5260 South Shore Drive, Whitehall

Built in 1902, the house is located on the south shore of White Lake, just north of Muskegon. The cottage features a unique double house design with a bridge connecting the two sides, exemplifying Wright’s vision of seamless unity between nature and the built environment.

Gale Cottages | Whitehall

5318, 5370, and 5380 South Shore Drive, Whitehall, Michigan

The Gale Cottages are a collection of rental cottages designed in 1909. These cottages were commissioned by Laura Robeson Gale and remain examples of Wright’s tremendous influence in the Midwest. The design reflects the Prairie School style, characterized by low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, and integration with the natural landscape.

Marvel at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Michigan Legacy

From the hustle and bustle of Grand Rapids to the lakeside communities of St. Joe and Whitehall to quaint spots in the Upper Peninsula, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in Michigan continues to amaze and delight.

Whether you’re able to catch a glimpse from the street, take a public tour, rent, or even buy one of Wright’s masterpieces (they pop up for sale from time to time), these homes remain timeless works that reflect the harmony of homes with their natural surroundings and include innovations that are still hallmarks of today’s architecture. 

One Comment

  1. The Amberg house is not a Frank LLoyd Wright house. The Ambergs were in-laws of Meyer May and had contracted with Wright to design a house for them; however, he sold his practice to Hermann V. von Holst in 1909 and left for Europe without having drawn any plans for the house. Marion Mahony Griffin, who had previously worked for Wright and was now working for von Holst, attempted to get Wright to provide her with plans but was unsuccessful. So ultimately, she drew the plans for the house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *