How did we find this Mid-Century modern Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house on the banks of the Cedar River in Charles City, Iowa? Surely we researched Wright structures in Iowa and purposely sought it out while passing through the area.
While returning from a film festival in Mason City we were passing through Charles City and looking for a quiet place to eat a submarine sandwich. Worse, although I thought the house on the water was wonderful, months passed before I discovered it was a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian.
Oh well, there goes any credibility I might have on this subject. : )
Built in 1946, it is known as the Dr. Alvin Miller House. Apparently Wright never visited the location, but instead relied on photographs and site surveys. Although the plans included an additional house and dental office for the property that were never built, an additional wing from Wrights drafts was added in 2007 using stone from the same quarry.
The L-shaped house is small at just 1000 square feet of living space and includes only one bedroom and a study that can double as a guest room. Dr. Alvin was 66, making him one of Wrights oldest clients.
The house features a flat roof with two levels and clerestory windows. Views from the rear-facing livingroom favor the Cedar River.
Charles City fell victim to the floods of 2008, and unfortunately this beautiful house seems to have been one of nearly 500 locals homes that were overtaken by the rampaging Cedar River. Check the clip below at about 3:42 for what appears to be a still of this house underwater.