Forensics reveal tiny details to restore in Wright-designed ASBH kitchen

In the latest phase of the kitchen restoration at the Elizabeth Murphy House, our goal was to rid the room of inappropriate materials and tie together the old and recent cabinets. But we found some lost details worth restoration.

Video: What we can Learn from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House

Thanks to host Heather Sabin of Monona Terrace's Wright Design Series and Brian Hannan of event-sponsor Wright in Wisconsin, we are able to bring you this recorded presentation and tour of the Elizabeth Murphy House - Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House.

Why did Frank Lloyd Wright keep the drawings he planned to forget?

Why do the vintage ASBH drawings exist at all? Frank Lloyd Wright didn't plan to re-use or show them. Was his decision to store almost 1000 images based on nostalgia or pride, or something more practical?

A vintage wash basin for Frank Lloyd Wright’s water-closet

In a way, our quest to preserve this tiny home is like time travel. We want to understand what Frank Lloyd Wright intended at the time he intended it.

What We Can Learn About Historic Preservation from Frank Lloyd Wright

Though Wright designed over a hundred modest American System-Built Homes he quickly cancelled the program with only twenty or so built and filed away the drawings forever when he realized that his art would not be preserved if its occupants didn't themselves participate in the preservation.

Frank Lloyd Wright assumed that we would be kind to each other

Through features like the Place of Greeting, we can see that Wright assumed that working-class people - the people with modest means who would live in and visit his ASBH designs - were inherently kind, trusting and trustworthy.

Caring for the Forsaken

We bought Frank Lloyd Wright's Elizabeth Murphy House with a plan to restore and care for her, but quickly discovered a curious and unexpected form of stewardship. Like nuns in a 19th century orphanage, we find ourselves caring for the forsaken.