Museum acquires 2nd Usonian Frank Lloyd Wright house
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Currier Museum of Art on Friday acquired a second New Hampshire home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Kalil House in Manchester was built in 1957 and is an example the “Usonian Automatic” houses Wright designed as a more moderately priced option for the postwar middle class.
The two-bedroom house, which includes the original furniture and fixtures, is made of modular concrete blocks made in Manchester and mahogany imported from the Philippines.
It was built for Dr. Toufic and Mildred Kalil, who were inspired by the home of a friend whose Wright house had been built on the same street a few years earlier. That property, the Zimmerman house, was left to the Currier in 1988.
The Kalil house went on sale this year. It was offered at $850,000 by the Paula Martin Group.
The Currier said an anonymous donor provided the funds. The purchase price wasn’t known. The Currier said that with the impending sale, there was a danger that the house might be altered, moved or torn down.
“I am particularly excited that the Currier Museum will be preserving and managing the Kalil House for generations to come,” the donor said in a written statement provided by the museum. “The work they have done with the Zimmerman House is outstanding and there is no doubt that they are the ones to entrust with this important piece of American history.”
Museum director Alan Chong said although both houses are about the same size and are on the same street, they are different in character.
The Zimmerman, for example, has a row of small, concrete square-designed windows in the front of the house. The Kalil House has multiple layers of small, rectangular windows. Its facade is concrete, while the Zimmerman house’s is red brick.
The museum’s Board of Trustees will start building an endowment to support new programs around the house.
This story has been corrected to show the Kalil House was built in 1957, not 1955.