Frank Lloyd Wright House Available at Bargain $1.38M

frank lloyd wright houseA choice Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style home has been sitting on the market for a year, with its price cut in small increments down to the current $1.38 million asking price. Could this be a bargain for a Wright house?

The house in question is the William E. Martin house in Oak Park, Ill., the western suburb of Chicago where Wright lived and designed 25 buildings, and Realtor Laura Talaske of Gloor Realty thinks it's a steal. Then again, she owns it. "With the way the market is, we're trying to be realistic," she says.

According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, 20 other Wright-designed homes are on the market right now around the country. Talaske sees hers as one of the more attainable ones, since it hasn't gone through a major renovation, bumping up the price. Yet the Wright design -- and cache -- is worth a premium.

"Living in a Wright house is like living in a work of art," she says. "So that does affect the price. It's not just bricks and mortar, it really is more than that."

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Frank Lloyd Wright House Available at Bargain $1.38M

As Curbed Chicago pointed out, the three-story home is unusual for its height. It's taller than most
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of Wright's prairie-style homes. But the 1903 home has some of Frank Lloyd Wright's signature details like original woodwork, built-ins and art-glass windows -- 59 of them, in fact.

"Our house is basically a wonderful family home that's been beautifully maintained, but it's never been overhauled," says Talaske. "We believe that the original plaster, with cracks, is more historically appropriate. Everything is in really good shape but we did save the original fabric without rebuilding it as other homes have done."

Originally listed at $1.58 million, the home has been restored to its original floorplan. In line with Wright's visionary idea that homes should relate to their surroundings, this one features several porches that reach out to the hug the land. One porch overlooks a koi pond and perennial gardens. The two modern updates to the W.E. Martin house are the renovated kitchen and addition of central air.

Talaske says she's looking to downsize. "This is a big, 5-bedroom, 2-bath home and our kids are off to college. It deserves to have a lot more activity than what we're giving it."

Carrie Culpepper blogs about design at

Click here for home listings in Oak Park, Ill.

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