In August of 2021 we visited the Currier Art Museum, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, to tour two Frank Lloyd Wright homes that they own – the Zimmerman Home (223 Heather St, Manchester, NH 03104) and the Kalil House (117 Heather St, Manchester, NH 03104), located a short walk down the street. Both are accessed via a tour bus that departs from the museum (150 Ash Street, Manchester, NH, 03104).
These are the only two private homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright available to tour in New England.
The Zimmerman home was built first, and fits many classic Frank Lloyd Wright tropes:
- Squares and ratios in the design
- Repetitive tiling, architectural details
- Wood work
- Interesting use of glass and interior landscaping to bring the outside indoors
- Minimal storage
- Minimal garage
The Kalils were friends of the Zimmermans, and after enjoying their neighbors home, purchased a Usonian design that re-used cast concrete blocks. While the layouts are similar and familiar to anyone that has toured a Wright home, the stark concrete design comes across like a brurtalist Eastern European building from the 1960s. The Kalil home is unique in that:
- It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright home with a guest house, albeit one that was never inhabited. It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright mother-in-law suite.
- The concrete forms were re-used to make a taller main room than other Wright homes.
Both homes have excellent samplings of some of my favorite items to look for in architectural tours:
- Music and musical instruments of Frank Lloyd Wright homes (sheet music, pianos, music stands)
- Appliances of Frank Lloyd Wright homes; Ovens, Toasters, Mixers, Stoves, Washers and Dryers, Refrigerators, etc. (Westinghouse, General Electric, etc.)
- Libraries and book collections of Frank Lloyd Wright homeowners
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Post Office Boxes