Tag Archives: Frank Lloyd Wright

ESD Sponsoring Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills

SOUTHFIELD — Join your fellow members of The Engineering Society of Detroit Friday, March 31 for a special tour of the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house built in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The Gregor S. & Elizabeth B. Affleck House, built in 1941 in Bloomfield Hills, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places before it was 50 years old.  The house represents one of the finest examples of the architect’s Usonian style — the last great period of Wright’s career — when his goal was to fill a need for low-cost housing for the average American.  Inspired by Wright’s Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania, the Afflecks requested him to design their new home.  Wright responded by directing Gregor and Elizabeth to find a beautiful site which others may have considered “unbuildable” — and then he proceeded to design a unique house in harmony with nature and the home’s steep hillside site.

The Affleck family donated the house to Lawrence Technological University in 1978 for educational use in the university’s architecture and design programs.

One of our tour’s acting docents, LTU assistant professor Janice K. Means — past Chair of the ESD Affiliate Council and a member of the LTU Affleck House Restoration Committee — said:  “Lawrence Tech has an ongoing project to restore this amazing house with its treed site.  Now we wish to share this gem with the community.”

She added: “I know of no other Frank Lloyd Wright house where attendees are invited to sit in original Wright-designed chairs and take personal photos within the house.”

Attendees will experience a few of Wright’s innovations in this house — his use of the then-exotic material we know today as plywood for much of the home’s furniture; the use of combined floor mounted operable  windows and high clerestory windows to enhance natural cooling; indirect lighting from cove-mounted luminaires; a cleverly concealed half bath tucked into minimal space; a surprising amount of built-in storage space; and radiant heating from hot water running through cast iron pipes in the floor, a system that is still in use today.

Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the Affleck House, many rooms and passageways are very narrow and therefore the house is not wheelchair accessible.  Limited photography, for personal use only, is permitted.  In consideration of our other guests, handheld cameras only, no tripods or flash photography.

To register call (248) 353-0735 x 222. or visit http://ww2.esd.org/EVENTS/2017/2017-03-FLW-House-tour.htm.

Tour three of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses June 4

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture will have a rare opportunity to tour the only three Usonian houses he designed in the Detroit area on Saturday, June 4, four days before the renowned architect’s 149th birthday.

The Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck House and the Melvyn Maxwell Smith House are in Bloomfield Hills, and the Dorothy H. Turkel House is in the Palmer Woods section of Detroit.

The event, which costs $150 per person, includes a guided tour of each home, transportation in a luxury motor coach between the homes, and a hearty hors d’oeuvres reception at Lawrence Technological University’s campus in Southfield. Participants should arrive at the campus at 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield by 11:30 a.m. for registration. The tour begins at noon. Tour buses will return to Lawrence Tech by 5 p.m. for the reception.

Wright began designing Usonian houses during the Great Depression in the 1930s. His goal was to create houses with a unique North American identity that would be affordable for middle-class families. Usonian houses are typically small, single-story buildings constructed of native materials, featuring flat roofs, and natural heating and cooling. The Affleck House was built in 1941 and donated to Lawrence Tech in 1978 as a teaching resource for the University’s College of Architecture and Design. The Turkel House was built in 1955 based on Wright’s book, “The Natural House.” The Smith house, built in 1946, features natural cooling and radiant heating through hot water pipes installed in the floor slab. Wright visited the house several times, calling it “my little gem.”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit restoration projects at LTU’s Affleck House, as well as restoration of the Smith House, now owned by the Maxwell and Sara Stein Smith Foundation. $75 of the ticket may be tax deductible; consult your tax professional. To register, call LTU at (248) 204-2303 or go to https://www.lawrencetech.net/FLWBirthdayBash.

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Monographs Donated To Lawrence Tech

SOUTHFIELD — Lawrence Technological University has received a set of 12 rare monographs by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright — with an assist from 1978 LTU architecture graduate Ben Tiseo, who is now an adjunct professor at the university.

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