New Hampshire Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute

  
A Forgotten Frank Lloyd Wright House is Preserved for the
Benefit of the Public Forever

  

 

















With the help of a donor, the Currier Museum of Art acquires a rare “Usonian Automatic” house by America’s most important architect.

Manchester, NH – The Currier Museum of Art has acquired a second home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is one of only seven Usonian Automatic houses to survive.


The museum now has two outstanding houses by America’s most important architect, making possible exciting
new experiences for visitors.


An anonymous donor has provided the funds to purchase the house. The donor states: “It is a real privilege to be
able to help the Currier Museum of Art acquire this house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, known as the Kalil
House. This is an important piece of American architecture and the public’s enjoyment of this house will be
increased immeasurably by having the Zimmerman House just three doors down for comparison and contrast.”


Tara Ikenouye and Bill Waterston , WJE Enclosure consultants and CSI Members, performed a condition assessment and designed roofing replacements and concrete repairs for the house prior to transfer of ownership.


Together with the museum’s Zimmerman House, also by Wright, the new house establishes Manchester as a
significant center of Wright’s residential architecture, while also offering immersive experiences beyond the
museum’s walls.


“Frank Lloyd Wright intended his Usonian designs to be affordable to the broader American public, but each is a
distinctive work of art,” states the Currier Museum’s director, Alan Chong. “Although they are about the same size
and on the same street, the Zimmerman and Kalil houses are very different in character. Their architecture will
inspire our audiences, not only fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, but participants in our programs devoted to Alzheimer’s
patients, families affected by the opioid crisis, and military veterans.”















Frank Lloyd Wright designed only a handful of houses in New England. With the impending sale of the Kalil House,
there was a real danger that it might be altered, moved away, or even torn down.


The house was built in 1957 for Dr. Toufic and Mildred Kalil, who followed in the footsteps of their friends and
neighbors, Dr. Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman who had commissioned their Wright house in 1950. The Kalils
should be credited with commissioning a striking house which is different in design and character from the
Zimmerman’s residence. The Zimmerman House was left to the Currier Museum in 1988 along with an operating
endowment.


The museum’s donor states, “I am particularly excited that the Currier Museum will be preserving and managing
the Kalil House for generations to come. The work they have done with the Zimmerman House is outstanding and
there is no doubt that they are the ones to entrust with this important piece of American history.”
on every project?

The Usonian Automatic design predicts many aspects of open-plan modern homes. Wright used contrasts of
narrow and wide spaces, and light and shadow to enliven the small two-bedroom structure. It is built of concrete
components made in Manchester and mahogany imported from the Philippines.

New Hampshire residents as well as visitors from around the world will now have multiple doorways into the rich
holdings of the Currier Museum – from its extensive collection of paintings and sculpture, to its special exhibitions,
and now outstanding examples of American architecture.


About the Currier Museum of Art

The Currier Museum is an internationally renowned art museum located in Manchester, New Hampshire. The
museum features paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and photographs, including works by Monet, Picasso,
O’Keeffe, Hopper, and Wyeth. It presents exhibitions, tours, art classes, and special programs year-round. The
museum also owns two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.