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Al Borah House, Marshall Erdman Prefab #1, Frank Lloyd Wright 1957

Posted by George Pudlo on December 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)





 

Al Borah House

265 Donlea Road

Barrington Hills, IL 60010


Frank Lloyd Wright always had a fascination with developing beautiful, low cost mass housing. His first venture with this concept was in conjunction with the Richards Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Wright's office produced nearly one thousand projects. These houses are referred to as the American System Built Homes. The cost of construction was reduced by cutting the lumber at the factory before delivery, though they are not considered to be prefabricated homes because they were not preassembled, only precut, before delivery to any given site.


In the 1950's, Frank Lloyd Wright's last decade of work, he collaborated with Marshall Erdman, a contractor who built Wright's 1947 Unitarian Meeting House in Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. Wright discovered that Erdman was offering prefabricated houses, and Wright suggested he could design better prefabricated homes for cheaper. By 1956, Wright had developed three Usonian like prefab models for Erdman. Prefab #1 resulted in nine completed homes. Prefab #2  resulted in two completed houses. No Prefab #3 models were ever built. 


The Al Borah House in Barrington Hills, Illinois, completed in 1957, is one of the nine Erman Prefab #1 models that were built. The house is named not for the original occupant, but rather for the builder of the home, Al Borah. It was originally used as an exhibition house. The first occupant of the home after the exhibition was named Frederick Post.


The current owners have lived in the Al Borah House since the late 1960's. One of the owner's daughters who grew up in the house was kind enough to provide some information and a view of the home's interior for this article. She commented that the house is very special. 


The Al Borah House is L-shaped in floor plan. The smaller section of the L is an enclosed garage with a sheltered walkway leading to the interior of the house. One enters through the kitchen from the sheltered walkway, and is lead to a massive, central block of brick containing the fireplace, and living area. The longer section of the L- shaped floor plan contains the four bedrooms of the house. This is a rare example of a Wright home containing a basement, as the Al Borah House is built gently into a rolling hill that overlooks a pond. 



Interior view of hallway with built in cabinets. Bedrooms are on opposite side of windowed facade.


Special thanks to Hugo Davila for providing the exterior photographs.

Joseph Mollica House, Erdman Prefab #1, Frank Lloyd Wright 1958

Posted by George Pudlo on May 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)




Joseph Mollica House
1001 West Jonathan Lane
Bayside, Wisconsin 53217

Located just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Joseph Mollica House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1958, just one year before his death. The Joseph Mollica House is a Usonian House, and was quite difficult to photograph because of the abundance of landscaping around it. The house is L-shape in plan with a board and batten pattern in the wood of the longer part of the L, with the smaller part of the L -the garage- comprised of irregularly cut stone. The house has a very low hipped roof with a screen of windows extending the entire length of the longer portion of the L-shaped floor plan. The Joseph Mollica House is one of the nine Erdman Prefab #1 homes built. 

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