Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Palmer House

I had the privilege of attending a graduation party last night at the Palmer House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Ann Arbor. Frank Lloyd Wright houses are often quite unusual, with lots of triangles, trapezoids, and quadrilaterals. He also imposed several restrictive covenants regarding modifications, upkeep, and even furniture. The houses are thus not just about the architecture - they're an artistic experience down to the last detail.

As such they're not the most flexible of living spaces, but it's an overwhelming event just to walk around. I'd never been in a Frank Lloyd Wright house before, and so I didn't realize both how impractical it would be to live in one. The hallways are super narrow, the beds are parallelograms, and the lighting is constantly dim. And yet, it feels like you're walking around inside an art piece.

You too can rent the Palmer House for an event, subject to the restrictions of the current owners (two U-M alumni).


  1. I lived 4 blocks away from Robie House during my time in Chicago. I ran by it almost every day, but never visited. I'm kind of kicking myself for that.

  2. I've been to Fallingwater a couple of times now but I've never been inside. I'm wondering if I should just suck it up and pay the extra $12 to walk around on the inside.

  3. Palmer is the best Usonian House FLLW designed.