Home for an Old Uso­nian

Arts and Crafts Homes - - UP FRON T -

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT never al­lowed risky to­pog­ra­phy to in­ter­fere with his de­sign de­ci­sions, whether it meant build­ing over a wa­ter­fall (Falling­wa­ter) or on a pre­car­i­ous hill in an earth­quake zone (Ennis House). When the 1954 Bachman Wilson House near Prince­ton, New Jersey, was re­peat­edly flooded by a branch of the Rar­i­tan River, an Arkansas mu­seum as­so­ci­ated with a school of ar­chi­tec­ture stepped in to save it.

Pur­suant to a sale com­pleted ear­lier this year, the 1,800-square-foot con­crete and ma­hogany Uso­nian house is be­ing moved to Ben­tonville, Arkansas, where it will be open as part of the Crys­tal Bridges Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art in 2015.

Wright un­der­took the com­mis­sion from Abra­ham Wilson and Glo­ria Bachman (a sis­ter of Taliesin fel­low Marvin Bachman) while he was work­ing on the Solomon R. Guggen­heim Mu­seum in New York City. The most re­cent own­ers, ar­chi­tect/de­signer team Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino of Tarantino Stu­dio (taranti­nos­tu­dio.com), bought the prop­erty in 1988 and painstak­ingly re­stored it, us­ing orig­i­nal con­struc­tion doc­u­ments from the Frank Lloyd Wright ar­chives.

The Taranti­nos re­gret­fully de­cided to sell after a trop­i­cal storm in 2011 sent six feet of river wa­ter through the house. All fix­tures and fur­ni­ture de­signed for the res­i­dence were in­cluded in the sale. The house and its fit­tings are be­ing dis­man­tled un­der the care­ful su­per­vi­sion of the Taranti­nos. When the com­po­nents reach their new home, the Bachman Wilson House will be re­con­structed ac­cord­ing to Wright’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions in a woodsy cor­ner of the mu­seum’s grounds.

Founded by Wal­mart heiress Alice Walton, Crys­tal Bridges Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art opened in 2011. Once its re­con­struc­tion is com­plete, the house will be avail­able for study and limited pro­gram­ming, in­clud­ing tours. Crys­tal Bridges Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art, ( 479) 418- 5700, crys­tal­bridges. org

Re­peat­edly threat­ened by flood­ing, the Bachman Wilson House is mov­ing to a new home in Arkansas.

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