The second of only two Frank Lloyd Wright–designed homes in St. Louis was just sold
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Automatic Theodore A. Pappas Town and Country House – one of only two homes designed by the famous St. Louis area architect – has been withdrawn from the market.
This week Michael Miner, founder and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative and Wright documentary filmmaker, announced that he had bought the house in partnership with the nonprofit. The house was designed in 1955 and built from 1960 to 1964 for the Pappas family, Theodore and Bette Pappas, and three daughters. Cynthia and Charisse Pappas and Candace Pappas Simmons were the sellers of the house. (The other Wright-designed home in Ebsworth Park was the location of last year’s Design STL Best Dressed shoot.)
Miner plans a full restoration of the 2,310-square-foot home, which sits on 3.36 acres and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the long term, Miner plans to turn the piece of history into an overnight rental, company retreat, education center, and house museum. In a press release, Miner stated, “While I have mixed feelings about all of Wright’s homes becoming home museums or overnight accommodations, we are still losing Frank Lloyd Wright buildings right now, and if our model is the only way to prevent that these buildings are being built. ” Whitefished ‘or’ Ruised ‘(yes, Ruised) and in order to protect them forever this must be done. “
Spring will bring the first phase of restoration, adding a new sewer system and replacing the roof. After that, the cosmetic restoration begins.
In the press release, Miner stated that he is currently looking for another Wright house in hopes of using one as a for-profit business and another as a not-for-profit.
Here are five things you should know about the design and construction of the historic home:
1. “Usonian” refers to the vision Wright had for civil homes across the country. After Wright began designing affordable middle-class homes in the 1930s, he envisioned homebuyers building their own homes out of cinder blocks, according to Dwell. The entire Pappas house is made up of these blocks, according to the National Register of Historic Places. 25 custom and handcrafted shapes were designed to form the various walls and corners and the concrete was tinted brick red prior to molding. “For Wright,” the National Register of Historic Places reads, “the concept of Usonia implied and committed to a machine-based civilization. To function effectively, this machine-oriented society requires standardization.” Since all societies require some sort of standardization, this was not inherently bad, in Wright’s view. It only became shameful when the innate properties of natural materials were ignored or used in ways that did not worship them.
2. “Automatic” refers to the way the do-it-yourself home should be built. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the manufacture of the house became known as a “knitting block” or “Wright textile block” because the blocks were placed one on top of the other, side by side, and then knitted together with steel bars. Wright envisioned how the Usonian Automatic Unit could work by designing a structure, making the materials, and sending the blueprint and blocks to the customer as a DIY kit. The National Register of Historic Places states that the Pappas House was built by its owners. Dwell states that Taliesin Associated Architects carried out the project.
3. All of the furniture in the house was also designed by Wright. according to the National Register of Historic Places. The freestanding furniture is linear and incorporates a U-shaped suitcase design that can be found elsewhere in the house. All interior wood and furniture are stained Filipino mahogany. According to the National Register of Historic Places, Wright hated the use of paint; The color should be in the material and not just on the surface. That is why the concrete blocks used in the structure are colored red.
4. The modern carport was believed to be an invention of Wright. according to the National Register of Historic Places. The carport of the Pappas House is designed in such a way that it fits seamlessly into the design of the house.
5. Another hallmark of Wright-designed houses are the less accentuated entrances. The Pappas House is a hallmark of this design. The main entrance and kitchen door are asymmetrically located on the south side of the house and, according to the National Register of Historic Places, are hidden under an overhang.