Bachman–Wilson House

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Bachman Wilson House
Exterior view of the Bachman-Wilson House after its relocation at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR.
Bachman–Wilson House is located in the US
Bachman–Wilson House
General information
Type House
Architectural style Usonian
Location Millstone, New Jersey, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°30′00″N 74°35′15″W / 40.500036°N 74.587411°W / 40.500036; -74.587411Coordinates: 40°30′00″N 74°35′15″W / 40.500036°N 74.587411°W / 40.500036; -74.587411
Construction started 1954
Technical details
Floor count 2
Floor area 1,800 [1]
Design and construction
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

The Bachman Wilson House, built in and originally located in Millstone, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States, was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1954 for Abraham Wilson and his first wife, Gloria Bachman. Ms. Bachman's brother, Marvin, had studied with Wright at Taliesin West, his home and studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2014 the house was acquired by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas and has been relocated in its entirety to the museum's campus.[2]


The front façade of concrete blocks has an almost fortress-like appearance to ensure privacy from the street. The house is built with Way-Lite concrete blocks and Philippine mahogany trim. It has a second story, rare in a Usonian house, with cantilevered balconies. The living room has a built-in banquette facing a wooded scene through a wall of 10 foot high glass panes, symbolizing a transcendental pew set before the altar of nature.

The public space is a dramatic focal point, with walls of glass and an open floor plan. Cut-out wooden panels of abstracted forms over 24 clerestory windows provide an unobtrusive yet restrained decorative touch to this lavish space. These recall Native American geometric motifs as well as stylized forms that may be based in nature. Construction was completed in 1956.

Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino[edit]

In 1988, Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino acquired the neglected Bachman Wilson House. Tarantino Architects has since guided the home's complete restoration and rebuilt the kitchen according to Wright's original drawings. Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino have received several awards for their restoration work, including the Wright Spirit Award.

The house was originally located along the Millstone River in Millstone Borough. It exemplifies Wright's "Usonian" philosophy and employs his early green building principles, including minimizing the size of the house and ancillary spaces, pioneering passive solar and radiant heat design, employing natural daylight and recycling construction waste. As its location was prone to flooding, the owners sought to relocate and rebuild it at a safer site in order to preserve it.[3]

Relocation and renovation[edit]

On January 15, 2014 the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas announced that it was acquiring the Bachman–Wilson House and have made plans to relocate the house in its entirety to the museum's campus.[4] Due to its past flooding and other circumstances, not all of the original structure could be relocated, such as the exterior concrete block wall and the stained concrete flooring, both of which have been remade by Crystal Bridges' reconstruction crew for the relocation. Despite flood damage, most of the interior of the house has been saved and can be seen and toured on the grounds of Crystal Bridges.

The house is located on the south side of Crystal Bridges and is only a brief walk from the south entrance. As well as the house there is also a welcoming pavilion constructed by the Fay Jones School of Architecture from The University of Arkansas that tells visitors not only about the Bachman–Wilson House but also about Frank Lloyd Wright and his works elsewhere.[4]


See also[edit]

  • Storrer, William Allin. The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. University Of Chicago Press, 2006, ISBN 0-226-77621-2 (S.366)
  • Kennedy-Grant, Philip S. "AIA New Jersey Guidebook". Rutgers University Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-8135-5126-5


  1. ^ Aubrey, Dan. "For Sale: A Special House in Need of a Home". princetoninfo. U.S. 1 Newspaper. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Ashley, Amanda. "Frank Lloyd Wright House dismantled, headed for new home at Crystal Bridges". NWA. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Frank Lloyd Wright house on market for $1.5 million - but it must be moved". Daily Telegraph. 
  4. ^ a b "Frank Lloyd Wright". Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 

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