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Frank Lloyd Wright House Moved to Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas

The Bachman Wilson house at its original New Jersey location.
The Bachman Wilson house at its original New Jersey location.

A 1954 Frank Lloyd Wright “Usonian” house has been moved 1,200 miles from New Jersey to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Designed by Wright for Abraham Wilson and Gloria Bachman, the 1,700-square-foot house was acquired in 2014 by the museum from recent owners Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, themselves architects and designers who have led the restorations of many other Wright houses. The price was not disclosed. The couple cited an increased risk of flooding from the nearby Millstone River as a threat to the structure. Their firm, Tarantino Architect, undertook a complete, years-long restoration of the house in 1988, using the original construction drawings and documents from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives. (Watch their video here.)

4 Deconstruction of FLW House
Components of the Wright house packaged and labeled for shipping.

To prepare for the relocation, the Bachman Wilson House was disassembled and its parts meticulously labeled. It arrived at the Arkansas museum, founded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, in April 2014, where it was sited on the wooded grounds. A welcome pavilion was designed by students and faculty of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas; Jones was an apprentice and protégé of Wright.

CBS News Sunday Morning was on hand to capture the migration for a story that aired in June.

With the reconstruction nearing completion, the Bachman Wilson House is scheduled to the public on November 11, the museum’s four-year-anniversary. Though admission to the museum and house are free, reservations will be required to enter the house due to its intimate size. Access will be available via guided or self-guided tours.

You can watch videos of the relocation process here.

The Bachman Wilson House being reconstructed at its new site on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum on Friday, August 14, 2015. (Photo: Beth Hall)
The Bachman Wilson House being reconstructed at its new site on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum on Friday, August 14, 2015.
(Photo: Beth Hall)
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