Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate
Presented by Mark Hertzberg
Frank Lloyd Wright is best known for his urban and suburban houses. Lesser known are the more than 40 summer “cottages” he designed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Many of the early summer cottages have a rustic feel and are not as easily recognized as Wright’s prolific year-round domestic designs. The summer homes he designed include five residences on Delavan Lake, Wisconsin between 1900-1905. The most spectacular is Penwern, an estate with four buildings, designed for Chicago industrialist Fred B. Jones. The coda of its long-term restoration by Sue and John Major, who became stewards of Penwern in 1994, was achieved this spring when the original greenhouse was recreated.
The Majors commissioned Mark Hertzberg of Racine to chronicle Penwern’s and Jones’s story in 2013. His book “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate” was published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in June 2019. It is his fourth book about Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin. Hertzberg was honored with a Wright Spirit Award by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in October.
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