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Penfield House

Wright modified the typical proportions of this three-bedroom Usonian homes for Louis Penfield’s house to accommodate the artist and schoolteacher’s six-foot, eight-inch frame.

Built

1953

Client

Louis Penfield and his wife Pauline

Address

2203 River Rd.

Status

National Register of Historic Places. Open to the public, though no tours are offered. Available for rent.

Wright incorporated slender ribbon windows and tall narrow doors that stretched to unusually high ceilings. Penfield proved as dogmatic on matters of finance as Wright was on issues of design, ceasing construction when Wright’s original $25,000 budget was reached. The house remained without some of the proposed furniture and cabinetry until Louis’ son, Paul, inherited the house and personally completed the remaining details of the original design, along with an extensive restoration. In 1959 Wright designed a second house for the Penfields on the same 30-acre property. “Riverrock,” considered Wright’s last residential commission, was to be built of stone gathered from the nearby Chagrin River. The Penfields received the plans the week of Wright’s funeral, but the house remained un-built. Paul Penfield and his wife, Donna, are currently saving proceeds from the rental of the Penfield House to build Riverrock, which they hope to one day open to the public.

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