Streams

Under Water, a Frank Lloyd Wright Moves Out of NJ

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Bachman Wilson House was built by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Somerset County in 1954 (Tarantino Studio © 2013)

Flooding is pushing a famous house out of New Jersey.

The Bachman Wilson House, built by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Somerset County, was just sold to The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, because it has been constantly damaged by flooding from the nearby Millstone River.

Sharon Tarantino, an architect who has owned the house with her husband since 1988, said they have been looking for a new location for the house for a few years. She said for the past seven years the house has flooded every year, and it was specially affected during Irene, in 2011.

Lifting the house was not an option, since it goes against Wright's vision, according to Tarantino. She said even though the 2,000-square-foot house was built in 1954, it has many modern features. "Lots of light and lots of glass and radiant heat and passive solar energy and bringing the outside in is something that people write about and talk about all the time now."

The couple will be the ones dismantling it. "We know how the house is put together, we are working with a contractor as well, it's not just myself and my husband doing it ourselves. But we are managing the project," she said.

The Tarantinos will also help re-build the house, and the whole process will take two months. They hope to build another sustainable house on the land, which they still own.

In its new location, the house will be used for education and occasional tours.

Tarantino Studio © 2013
The Bachman Wilson House has 2,000 square feet
Tarantino Studio © 2013
Detail of the living room
Tarantino Studio © 2013
Living room seen from outside
Tarantino Studio © 2013

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Comments [3]

S Kelly from DFW

You will not find a better setting for relocating the house than the NW Arkansas hilltop overlooking Crystal Bridge Museum which sits on top of a large private lake.

The former dean of the U of Arkansas school of architecture was an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright so was appropriate that the house be relocated to this site.

Jul. 09 2014 12:25 AM
A Reeder from Arlington, VA

I hope to be one of the first visitors to the house in its new location. I worked at another FLW Usonian House that was moved to get out of the way of a highway that was to be built. You really get a special feeling working at a place that has been saved.

Jan. 28 2014 10:53 AM
Sandy DJ from Swamps of Jersey

what a shame! But on the other hand a good thing the house has owners with such a conscience that they would go to all this trouble to see the house safe. Hope that they document the process, the museum should show it as part of the exhibit.

And still the republicans claim that there is no such thing as climate change, storms like Irene and Sandy are just normal weather patterns. the fact that they are happening more often, with greater and greater impact/force is just a coincidence according to them.

Jan. 26 2014 10:17 AM

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