Frank Lloyd Wright and Hanley Houses of St Louis

So glad to be back!!  As I mentioned, my mom has been in town for the past week, so sorry for lack of any updates but my time has been tied up.  We had a nice visit, and we got to see and do a lot of things, so the posts over the next few days will be highlights from the past week (as in, sorry that Christmas pics are going to go up 5-6 days after the fact). 

On Thursday, I took a half day from work and I scheduled tours for two historical homes here in St Louis.  Mom is a big history buff (I did not acquire this gene) so when I found out there was a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Ebsworth Park in St Louis, I had to set it up for us to tour.  We got over to the house at 2pm on Thursday afternoon, so I was being optimistic that it was going to be a private tour.  Turns out 12 OTHER PEOPLE were there too....and there are two tours every day.  For a 1900 sq. ft. home, it was a tight squeeze most of the way through.

For those of you who may not know who Frank Lloyd Wright is, he is considered by most authorities to be the 20th century's greatest architect. The American Institute of Architects recognized Frank Lloyd Wright to be "the greatest American architect of all time." Here's a short biography about him.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house, but I did find a few photos on-line to give you an idea of the inside. It was a really unique experience and it makes me want to see more of his work.

Floorplan (Two overlapping parallelograms) 

 Leading into the kitchen from the living room

There were three of these light fixtures in the house, all based off of the hexagon

The house that we toured was built for Russell Krause and his wife, thus dubbed The Krause House. The entire floorplan is based off of a parallelogram, in that everything (except for one singular wall that came to a 90 degree angle) in the entire house is either a 60 degree or 120 degree angle.  The countertop edges, every end-line of brick that was layed, and every seam on the floor were angled. Even both of the beds were not square, but rather one a P-gram and the other an oblong hexagon.  

At 5pm, I bought us tickets for a Christmas Candlelight Tour through the oldest house in Clayton (which is a suburb in St Louis), the Hanley House. Martin Franklin Hanley built the Hanley House in 1855, which sat on their families farmstead. 

We assumed the house would be small, as it was built so long ago, and although we were surprised to find that the rooms were quite spacious, it had 11 ft ceilings, and two stories, the tour had 25 people jam packed in rooms with 5 candles max (to simulate a christmas back in the time when they lived there); to say we were squished like sardines is an understatement. 

One of the rooms while the herd was in another

To be honest, this tour was more of a laugh factor for us than a history lesson; they had an amateur string ensemble of people over the age of 60 where some played as though they were trying to die (pictured below), there were at least 10 little kids whose parents drug them out to this old house so of course they were running and pushing through everyone in an attempt to keep entertained, one of the ladies who was there to supervise the rooms to ensure no one touched anything was snoring asleep in her chair, Kris Kringle came through at one point and gave lemons (seriously?!) to all of the children because that was considered a wonderful gift in their time. 

It could have been nice in theory, but it was just very poorly organized.  Hopefully mom will find more historical information about it online so it won't be a complete waste. 

 Nice start to the trip.  And be jealous of my mom's holiday vest. 


Scientific Housewife said... Add Reply

These houses are neat! We actually have a college nearby that Frank Lloyd Wright designed (Florida Southern College).

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