Crystal Bridges to Install Wright House

Bentonville, AR -- The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has purchased an important Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house, built in 1954 along the Millstone River in Somerset County, N.J.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network plan to visit this historic home during visits to Crystal Bridges.

The building, known as the Bachman Wilson House, has been flooded by a river over the past decades and sustained significant damage. Relocation was recommended as a means of best preserving the structure for future generations.

The owners conducted a multi-year search for a purchaser that could provide an appropriate setting and context for the historic building.

The house will be reassembled on Crystal Bridges’ 120-acre grounds where it will be available for study as well as for limited programming and tours.

Original Bachman Commission

Abraham Wilson and Gloria Bachman (husband and wife) commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design their home In 1954. Gloria’s brother, Marvin Bachman, was an apprentice in the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin Fellowship program.

Wilson and Bachman wrote to Wright, asking him to design a house for them, and later met with the architect at the Plaza Hotel in New York, while he was working on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The resulting design reflects Wright’s Usonian period: a work of art in simplicity and form, representing organic design principles.

When the recent owners, architect/designer team Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, purchased the property in 1988, the home had previously flooded multiple times. The Tarantinos painstakingly restored the house, using original construction documents from the Frank Lloyd Wright archives.

Threatened by Flooding

Unfortunately, there is a strong indication that flooding on the property is increasing both in intensity and frequency, threatening the house itself and its viability as a residence. Citing their protracted battle with floodwaters, the owners decided to put the house on the market in 2012. The sale, however, was conditional upon moving the house to a suitable natural site.

The sale of the house includes all the fixtures and furniture designed for it. A specialized contractor will be secured for the methodical process of dismantling the house, under the supervision of the Tarantinos, for moving to Arkansas where it will be reconstructed to Frank Lloyd Wright’s original specifications.

The Tarantinos will oversee the packing of every building component, built-in furnishings and furniture, which will be carefully loaded into container trucks, transported and reconstructed on site.

Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. has donated its services to transport the Bachman Wilson House to Bentonville.

Unison Simplicity

According to the Tarantinos, the home’s architectural form can best be described as Pavilion-style, with a tall masonry wall providing privacy from the public-side approach, and a dramatic open floor plan revealing horizontal and vertical planes that pass through the space to the outside.

Wright was in his mid-80s when he was working on this house, and he also wrote his book, "The Natural House', a summation of his design philosophy,

Usonian homes made use of natural materials and deliberately used natural settings and sunlight as architectural elements and for passive solar heating.

This house will now join the roster of Wright homes available in a public setting offering the opportunity for experiencing Wright’s truly American architecture.The museum has not disclosed the purchase price.