During his long career, Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 1,000 buildings, of which over 400 were built. Unlike other architects, however, he continued to design private homes while at the pinnacle of his career. These houses, which he termed, “Usonians” represent the culmination of his residential work. Barely 100 were built. The Louis Penfield House is one.

In each of these designs Wright expressed his principles of organic architecture. All of the houses were built of readily available materials left as unadorned as possible. Each design was site-specific to take advantage of the view and terrain. The typical Usonian floor plan included small entryways, narrow passages, large central fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows. The designs were also tailored to each individual client, which is why the Penfield house is unique among Wright designs.

Louis Penfield was six feet eight inches tall. When meeting Mr. Wright for the first time, he asked, “Can you design a house for someone as tall as me?” Wright was silent for a moment, then replied, “Yes, but we’ll have to design a machine to tip you sideways first”.

Mr. Penfield’s house is a true reflection of his physique; ceilings that are taller than most other Usonians, slender ribbon windows match the owner’s slim profile and the narrow doors are tall by any standard. Wright had cheerfully accepted Mr. Penfield as a client even though he often stated “Anyone over six feet tall is a weed”.

The Louis Penfield House is living architecture, not a house museum. Our mission is to give enthusiasts of Wright’s work the unique opportunity to experience the house as if it were their own, by living in it. Therefore, we do not give tours.
   Ohio Magazine -
   March 2003
   Read article here.

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   This Old House -
   November 2004
   Read article here.

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Penfield  House
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