Frank Lloyd Wright’s style is unmistakable, and getting to tour any of them in person is a treat for architecture lovers. One of Wright’s iconic homes is the Bachman-Wilson house currently located at Crystal Bridges Museum in Northwest Arkansas. Touring the Bachman-Wilson house is an incredible opportunity, and I recently spent my birthday touring it. It was truly a great experience!
Touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House
The History of The Bachman-Wilson House
While the home is currently located in Bentonville, Arkansas, that is not its original home. The home was built in 1956 in New Jersey where it stayed for several years. However, the home had a continual threat of flooding so Crystal Bridges Museum of Art acquired it in 2013. To read more about the acquisition, click here. The home is one of Wright’s Usonian structures.
The story of how the house made it to Northwest Arkansas is quite remarkable. In order to preserve the history of the home, the home was disassembled piece-by-piece and categorized for future reconstruction. In 2015, the home was reconstructed on site in Bentonville and done so piece-by-piece- almost like a life-sized puzzle! To see the process of reconstruction, click here.
Key Design Elements of The Bachman-Wilson Home
As with all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, the Bachman-Wilson features clean lines, natural light, & distinct architectural elements. The materials he chose and the elements he included show a keen interest in all of the details.
The Heating Source
One of the fascinating elements of the home was the heating source. While the home had a fireplace in the living room, the oversized concrete floors actually acted as the heat source for the home. Before it was popular, Wright included sub-surface heating.
While most of Wright’s Usonian designs are single level, the Bachman-Wilson features a 2nd floor; however, guests are not permitted to tour the 2nd level. The floating stairs are suspended by iron rods; however, I saw noticeable cracks in the wood stairs which is why they do not allow guests to traipse up and down them. However, they offer a unique design feature, albeit, not really a safe design.
The Minimalist Design
Every square inch of the home is minimalist. With cinder block walls both inside & outside, there is no extra pizzaz. However, Wright did incorporate Mahogany throughout much of the kitchen with clean faced cabinets & unique board/batten ceiling (at only 6.5′ tall!).
How To Tour The Bachman-Wilson Home
If you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast or rookie, touring any of his homes is a treat. Thanks to Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, touring the Bachman-Wilson is easy & free!
- Tours are available 7 days a week
- No interior photography is allowed
- Guided & self-guided tours are available
- Self-guided tours are free; however, guided tours are $10
- Self-guided tours are provided with an audio guide
- Reserve your tickets here.
This was the first Frank Lloyd Wright home that I’ve toured in person, and while I was a Wright fan before- I’m really a fan now! I now want to tour more of his homes! If you’re ever in the Northwest Arkansas area, add a Bachman-Wilson house tour to your agenda!