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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright home listed for $1.25 million

Written by
Nick Kotecki
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Frank Lloyd Wright's Oscar B. Balch House hit the market this week, listed for $1.25 million. The five-bed, 2.5-bath house is located just outside of Chicago in Oak Park and was built in 1911. Notably, the Balch House was Wright's first commissioned work after he left the U.S. as of a result scandal involving a mistress in 1909. Wright and his mistress Martha Borthwick lived in Europe together for two years before returning to the Chicago area.

Borthwick was the wife of one of Wright's clients, Edwin H. Cheney, whom he built a home for in 1903, only a 10-minute walk away from the Balch House. In Oak Park alone, Wright has 25 projects to his name. Wright understandably encountered difficulty re-entering the work world upon his return to the U.S., and though it would take him several years to regain public respect, the Balch House marked the first step in his ascendence to architectural renown.

The building is one of Wright’s first flat-roofed homes designed in the Prairie House style. The Balch House wears many hallmarks of Wright's design, including art glass windows, the use of stained glass, large overhanging eaves and a spacious fireplace near the home's center.

The family that put the home up for sale took care of the Wright house. According to Crain's, renovations were recently conducted to modernize the building while keeping its character intact. Air conditioning has been added, mechanicals have been updated and some fixtures have been refurbished, replaced or salvaged from other Wright homes.

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Photograph: VHT Studios/Redfin

Check out the Oscar B. Balch House

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