We continue our love-affair with Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes today with a short history of our latest crush, the Elam House.
“The mission of an architect is to help people understand how to make life more beautiful…”Frank Lloyd Wright
Inspired by a 1948 trip to Wright’s home, Taliesin, S P Elam and his wife hired Wright, then in his eighties, to design their nearby home in southern Wisconsin. The result: A five-bedroom, six-bath masterpiece, the second largest Usonian home in Wright’s portfolio.
One of his most iconic designs, the Elam House delights with its unmistakable lines: an upswept roof and cantilevered balcony, supported by massive limestone piers mined from a quarry close to Taliesin. The finishing touches underscore Wright’s design sensibilities: white cypress, floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, and over 100 windows throughout.
The Elam family sold the home to the Warren Plunkett family in 1959. Son Peter Plunkett now owns the home and resides there still today.
Merry Maker Tip: Good news! The home’s Terrace Suite is offered for overnight stays and includes access to the grounds and a tour of main home. Info here: theelamhouse.com
Read about another one of our favorite Frank Lloyd Wright homes, FallingWater, here.
What is a Usonian home?
The phrase Usonian was coined by Wright to describe simple, stylish homes of moderate cost and size, designed for America’s middle-class families. Hallmarks of the homes include low, flat roofs with cantilevered overhangs; natural materials such as stone, wood and glass; one-story, open floor plans averaging 1500 sq. ft. with no basement or attic. Sadly, only 60 of these homes were ever built.