the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 028-029
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959

Architecture, Domestic -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Township

Melvyn Maxwell Smith House

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


TWO FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSES Frank Lloyd Wright designed two houses in Bloomfield. The Melvyn Maxwell Smith house is in the Township and the Gregor Affleck house in the Hills. 'An Usonic House' Wright called the Smith house, pictured here. 'Usonia' was the name English novelist Samuel Butler gave to America when he thought it might represent an Utopian ideal place. 'This Usonian house is a companion to the horizon' Smith says of his home. 'loving the ground with the new sense of space, light and freedom to which our U.S.A. is entitled.' Wright's own home, 'Taliesin' was fashioned as one in harmony with nature. Both prospective owners had seen pictures of 'Taliesin' and each was determined to have a Wright house. In each instance the men approached Wright and said they were not interested in basements or attics and wanted a certain type of living experience. The primary building materials in both houses are fired brick and cyprus wood from the tidewaters of Florida. Both utilize skylights, both have heated floors; neither uses plaster, paint or wallpaper. The Smith house was designed in 1946 and built in 1949-50, the Affleck house was built in 1941. Wright visited both houses several times. Just before his death in 1959 at age 90, he came to the Smith house and told Mrs. Smith, 'My dear, your delights are just beginning.' The Affleck house is pictured on pages 140 and 160.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 028-029 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 028-029 part 2

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