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Michigan Beach House by Frank Lloyd Wright


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Here is an article from a few months ago that I ran into yesterday and thought that someone might be interested in. I did a search and it doesn't look like it has been posted either here or in the Grand Rapids forum before.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home Demolished

It certainly doesn't begin to compare with some of the architect's greater works. Also, judging by the photograph the house may have been significantly modified from its original 1916 appaerance (it looks more like a 50s/60s ranch). To top it off, the house was in poor condition.

When not considering the house's architect, it is understandable why the owners would want to build a new house. Nevertheless, they should have been considerate enough to see if someone wanted it first since, more than likely, someone would want and be willing to move the house.

I found this to be an interesting comparison:

While there are those who maintain the ramshackle summer cottage in the village of Grand Beach was beyond meaningful repair, to destroy it was akin to shredding a sketch or lesser work of a great painter, said Ron Scherubel, executive director of The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

"You want to preserve the entire body of work of a great artist," Scherubel said.

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I heard about this shortly after it happened. It's not a huge loss, as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't seem like there was anything left to be restored. If that's the case, then I have no problem loosing it.

Btw, legend has it that Frank Lloyd Wright designed a few houses in Highland Park. Nobody knows which ones they are, and there are people trying to figure out which ones they might be.

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While the house was undeniably altered beyond recognition, I do think the owners of the property ought to have made an effort to offer the property to a group willing to attempt restoration. TO look at the picture provided, I'd have to agree that it looks as though very little of Wright's work survived, but once a building is gone, it is gone forever. I wish there had been interior shots as well.

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It's kind of sad, but at least it's not one of his more significant or beautiful structures. I can't blame the owners though for wanting a new house, or even from a maintenance standpoint. Houses along Michigan beaches are difficult to maintain, and construction in the 50's was fairly sub-par when we discovered new cheap materials that would "get us by." Additionally, a couple of Wright's works were engineering disasters, so the beach house probably had it coming. I just hope that preservation group keeps on top of things though. I love many of Wright's works, especially some of his larger prairie style houses. The GRap house above is one of my favorites.

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