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October 17, 2010

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Kalamazoo, Michigan

By Sablemable aka Jan

When Ruth forwarded to me the link to a home for sale in Kalamazoo, she said  “I know it isn’t our usual cup of tea…”, but being a fan of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian designs, I jumped at the chance to present one of his masterpieces.  After all, his Usonian designs, I believe, were the predecessors of our MCM ranch houses. 

One thing about the listing that was irritating was lack of address.  Fortunately, I have the Frank Lloyd Wright Companion book, a huge compilation of every building he designed, and, has every single address listed in the back.  Kudos! 

Without further adieu, let’s take a peek inside the FLW home at 2662 Taliesin in the Parkwyn Village in Kalamazoo.  The house was originally built in 1949, even though the listing says 1951.  However, there was expansion done to the structure in the early Fifties and that may have occurred in 1951.  The house is listed as a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom structure, turning the study into the fourth room.  When first built, the home only had one bedroom and one bathroom.  Below is the floor plan of the original structure.

Now here’s the floor plan after completion in the Fifties with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and the study.

 Parkwyn Village only contained four FLW built homes and this particular one, design #299, was constructed for Ward and Helen McCartney and is known as the McCartney Home. 

The house is constructed of concrete block and cypress wood, sits on a slab and has 1,671 square feet of living space.  Jaqua Realtors is the broker and Paul McIntyre is the agent.  He may be reached at 269-808-0324.  Oh, and the price for this lovely home?  It’s pure robbery at $279,000.000!




I couldn’t figure out what this concrete room was for until I looked at the floor plans.  It’s the workspace!









This makes me want to cash in all of my assets (ha-ha, if I had any assets), and snatch this baby up.  It deserves to be preserved and loved by someone who adores the architecture.  Classic modern home!

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9 Responses to Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Kalamazoo, Michigan

  1. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    What a completely gorgeous house — and for SO CHEAP!!! I can’t believe FLW is for sale in the $200s!!!

    The only thing I would have to change is that vessel sink, I have a phobia of those crazy sinks! 😀

  2. Annie B. Reply

    October 18, 2010 at 9:07 am

    $279,000………have I read that correctly????????? That house?? Someone is about to get very, very lucky. Wish I were the one!

    I’m with you on the sink, Sara; have funny feelings about washing in a light fixture cover.

  3. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    October 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I am, like the others, in disbelief at the low price of this historic home. Wonder if it needs extensive restoration. This would be worth it to have an FLW home. Love the cypress. Truly marvelous and someone will indeed be considered lucky to get this so cheaply. Amazing. Would like to see the exterior, though. Makes me wonder how many other lovely and historic homes are available in this market to the average American. Deals will be made for those with the time and cleverness to do due diligence.

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 18, 2010 at 10:36 am

    🙂 Annie B.!!!!!!

  5. sablemable Reply

    October 18, 2010 at 10:44 am


    Yep, don’t like the sink either. LOL@ washing in a a light fixture cover, LOL!!!!!!

    Hi, Jamie! Hopefully the house doesn’t need extensive repairs. I’d really be worried if it was being sold “as is” which means, uh-oh. I’d love to see the interior myself and I’m not that far from Kazoo. We have 3 FLW homes here in my neck of the woods and I’ve never been inside of one of them.

  6. Annie B. Reply

    October 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Three FLW’s near you, Sableeeeeeeeeee???? I’d be camped on the roadside in front of them. (Wonder if you can be accused of “stalking” a house?)

    Just pray that whomever the lucky new owner is, he or she will not “update” this masterpiece. This baby deserves serious respect.

  7. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    October 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Hi, SableMable! I think it’s great that there are so many FLW houses near you. There are two near me of which I am aware. One in Hollywood right near the Hollywood Bowl, (about fifteen minutes from where I live) and one in Silverlake, which is in East Hollywood. There is also one near Pasadena, the smallest house he ever built, or so I’ve been told. I went to dinner there once when I knew the folks who lived there. One thing I found interesting is that he, (Frank Lloyd Wright) insisted on was that there be no art in his houses! He said that the house itself was art. There is also a famous Lloyd Wright house, (not FLW but his son) near my barber and it is quite beautiful. Famous murders were committed there! A book was written by the son of a doctor that lived there and he thinks his father was the murderer of the Black Dahlia. Wild!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      October 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      Jamie! I read that book about that father and the Black Dahlia murder! It was soooooo creepy. What was that author’s name? Steve Hodel? I remember that the book contained several pictures of that house, both interior and exterior.

  8. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    October 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hi, Ruth! Yes, you are right about that. It was Steve Hodel who wrote about his father who was a doctor. It WAS creepy and the fact that it was written by his own son makes it even more believable. The house is quite splendiferous. I would love to go inside but they don’t have tours anymore. It is often used in movies. I think that Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs really are timeless. I love the fact that people are getting to appreciate mid century, as well and that there is a site like this as the designs can be really breathtaking. They come from the Bauhaus school of architecture, (did I spell that right?) which was the first serious attempt to marry design with modern use and specifically to incorporate the automobile into our houses. Love that. I look forward to each edition of No Pattern Required!

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