The Gregor S. and Elizabeth B. Affleck House is a brick and cypress raised Usonian house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Sited in a wooded natural amphitheater, the house nestles along a gentle grade before its living area cantilevers dramatically over a small stream bed. A massive vertical brick shaft, containing the fireplace, kitchen, and utilities, roots itself in the ravine, grows through the main floor, and soars through the multiple skylights to the roof top sun deck.
The loggia, open to both the stream below and the sky above by windows, provides the transitional space between the living and bedroom areas. The home’s distinct functional areas blend to form a continuously flowing space. This, and the inter-relationship with its site, generates its special qualities.
The Affleck House, constructed in 1940, achieves special significance as the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959); a representative building type (‘home for sloping ground’) as derived from Wright’s Broadacre City; and an outstanding example of Wright’s pre-World War II Usonian residential designs. Beginning in the 1920s, Frank Lloyd Wright’s argument that modern cities were no longer habitable led him to develop his solution for urban problems– Broadacre City.
Wright used “Usonia” as his substitute for the reformed, future “America” of Broadacre City, and he used the Usonians as his solution to the “small house problem.” These Usonians– and in particular the pre-World War II designs– were a direct response to the changes in the lifestyles of his clients and their needs for a low-cost, but satisfying dwelling.
The home was donated to Lawrence Technical University in 1978 by Mary Ann Lutomski and Gregor P. Affleck, the children of the original owners, Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck, and is currently used as a teaching center for the university’s architecture students.
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