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.

Did you miss the tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Elizabeth Murphy House? Here is a recording.

zoom tour

Take a virtual tour of the Elizabeth Murphy House, Frank Lloyd Wright's American System-Built Model A203 and his last completed dwelling in the Prairie Style.

Kids, what do you see in Mr. Wright’s art glass windows?

Matthew Smith - an expert in fine leaded art glass - points out that Frank Lloyd Wright's motif in the Elizabeth Murphy House reflects the proportions of the Elizabeth Murphy House herself.

Plywood in a Wright-designed American System-Built Home, before “plywood” was a thing

Wright and Richards were exploring ways to ensure quality while lowering costs in the American System. So cabinet doors were built of "ply" fifteen years before "plywood" became a thing.

Prototypes and their progeny are never the same

Byrkit Brochure

It can seem strange to think of a Frank Lloyd Wright dwelling as a standard product - something that could be built with interchangeable parts and pieces - but American System-Built Homes were exactly that. One of those pieces was Byrkit Lath.

MKELifestyle story: Wright Project, Wrong Time

The March 2021 issue of MKELifestyle is on shelves all over town and features interior and vintage images of Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten Elizabeth Murphy House, along with an interview by Don Butler about our upcoming book.

Go ahead: (Insert Leaky Roof Jokes Here…)

Wright's statement chimney was meant to welcome a visitor like a smoke signal emerging from the heart of the house and saying, "we're home, it's warm in here, and you're invited." But in 1918, it leaked.

Wright’s subtle sight-line restored: lessons-learned and before and after pix

Imagine a couple of kids - one hundred years ago - sitting at the table, back to the warm morning sun, sipping milk while one parent flipped breakfast eggs and the other buttered toast and they all planned the weekend. It's not only about seeing things, but about living and being together in an American System-Built House.