Frank Lloyd Wright Homes Were Designed For Michigan Pharmaceutical Scientists

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In the late 1940s, the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company was the largest employer in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a company emphasis on family and quality of life. It was a national leader in providing benefits to its employees including group life insurance and shorter work weeks. Also in the 1940s, Frank Lloyd Wright was the most famous architect in the world and was devoting much of his time to his Usonian homes for the middle class. About 60 of the Usonian homes were built between 1936 and his death in 1959.

Frank Lloyd Wright Scientist Home Exterior

In 1949, a group of twelve scientists from Upjohn sought out Wright to design a community of homes. With simplicity, form and function in mind, Wright’s Usonian designs met their criteria. They wanted houses that they could build themselves or with limited help and chose a 70-acre parcel of open and wooded land with a three-acre pond in Galesburg, Michigan. They originally named it Galesburg County Homes Acres but later shortened it to The Acres.  Each scientist wrote a letter to Wright requesting his help to design the project. The Acres plat outline consisted of 22 homes on one acre each with 50 acres left natural for the enjoyment of the residents.

The Acres’ homes were Wright’s first foray into organic ranch-style architecture. They were affordable but tailor-made to the individual client’s needs – practical, functional and blended in with their surroundings. They were organic in that they appeared to come “out of the ground and into the light” as Wright was fond of saying. Access to nature, both physically from every room in the house and visually from inside the home interiors, played a major role in defining Usonian style. Homes were built with natural materials, walls of glass for winter passive solar collection, radiant-heated floors, flat roof lines with overhangs, carports and built-in furniture.

Frank Lloyd Wright Scientist Home Interior 3

Although the project had many supporters at Upjohn, it was a bit of a drive from Kalamazoo before Interstate 94 was built and perhaps too unusual for midwestern tastes. Only four Wright homes were ever built at The Acres. Currently for sale is the Samuel and Dorothy Eppstein Residence.

Frank Lloyd Wright Scientist Home Interior 2Samuel Eppstein was a research scientist and Dorothy a researcher at the Upjohn labs. They had only been married six months when they commissioned their new home and construction was completed in 1953. The 2,250-square-foot Usonian includes three bedrooms, two baths, two fireplaces, and a general purpose room used as an additional living room. Though the kitchen has been rebuilt by a local craftsman in the Wright style, the home has all of Wright’s built-ins including two tables that were reconstructed to exact specifications. Ten-foot walls of glass are positioned to capture idyllic views of valley and meadows. There is also a swimming pool that was added in later years.

Rare opportunity to own a Wright Usonian in a 70-acre, fully Wright-designed community kept completely intact since its inception. Asking $455,000, it is the lowest priced Wright home currently on the market. The listing agent is Fred Taber of Jaqua Realtors in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For the Silo, Terry Walsh.

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1 Comment to Frank Lloyd Wright Homes Were Designed For Michigan Pharmaceutical Scientists

  1. Premier Wynne and Governor Snyder Reaffirm Strong Partnership Between Ontario and Michigan
    NEWS March 13, 2017

    Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder released a joint statement following their meeting today in Detroit:

    “Ontario and Michigan are strong partners with deeply integrated economies. Today, we discussed how we will continue to work together to advance our shared priority to create jobs and grow our economies.

    Ontario is Michigan’s top customer worldwide, with nearly $21 billion (US) in exports in 2016. Some 259,000 Michigan jobs are supported by trade and investment with Canada, more than 91 per cent of which is with Ontario.

    We are building on a strong, collaborative foundation — including our first-ever Memorandum of Understanding on auto manufacturing, stewardship of the Great Lakes, and supporting the completion of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, which will increase efficiency and create jobs in both the short- and long-term.

    We look forward to co-hosting the next Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Leadership Summit this fall in Windsor and Detroit. Together with our fellow governors and the Premier of Quebec, this event will reaffirm the importance of healthy Great Lakes to our environment, economy and society.

    We are particularly eager to review the progress of the Conference’s Economic Task Force, which focuses on the regional economy. And we anticipate, as well, updates from the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force and the Regional Maritime Entity.

    Today we also reflected on progress achieved through last summer’s automotive MOU. We are advancing our ability to develop new cutting-edge automotive technologies and improve the efficiency and reliability of our supply chains. Continuing our strong partnership and ensuring a seamless flow of materials between our regions is key to both Ontario and Michigan.

    We remain steadfastly committed to ensuring businesses on both sides of the border thrive, and to improving the lives of people in communities across Ontario and Michigan.”

    Disponible en français

    La première ministre Wynne et le gouverneur Snyder réaffirment le solide partenariat entre l’Ontario et le Michigan

    NOUVELLES Le 13 mars 2017

    La première ministre de l’Ontario Kathleen Wynne et le gouverneur du Michigan Rick Snyder ont publié une déclaration commune au sujet de leur réunion d’aujourd’hui à Detroit :

    « L’Ontario et le Michigan sont de solides partenaires qui ont des économies profondément intégrées. Aujourd’hui, nous avons discuté de la manière dont nous continuerons à travailler ensemble pour faire progresser notre priorité partagée, qui consiste à stimuler la création d’emplois et notre croissance économique.

    L’Ontario est le plus grand client du Michigan au monde et, en 2016, les exportations du Michigan à destination de la province se sont élevées à près de 21 milliards de dollars américains. Quelque 259 000 emplois au Michigan sont soutenus par les investissements et les échanges commerciaux avec le Canada, attribuables à l’Ontario dans une proportion de plus de 91%.

    Nous construisons sur une base solide et collaborative — incluant notre tout premier protocole d’entente (PE) portant sur l’industrie de l’automobile, l’intendance des Grands Lacs et le soutien de l’achèvement du nouveau pont international Gordie Howe. Nous en retirerons des gains d’efficience et favoriserons la création d’emplois à court et à long terme.

    Nous sommes enthousiastes devant la perspective de recevoir ensemble la prochaine Conférence des gouverneurs et premiers ministres des Grands Lacs et du Saint-Laurent cet automne à Windsor et à Detroit. De concert avec les autres gouverneurs et le premier ministre du Québec, nous pourrons réitérer à cette occasion l’importance de garder les Grands Lacs en bonne santé pour notre environnement, notre économie et notre société.

    Nous avons particulièrement hâte d’en savoir plus concernant les progrès du groupe de travail sur l’économie mis sur pied par l’organisation de la Conférence, qui se concentre sur l’économie régionale. Nous nous intéresserons grandement aussi aux rapports du groupe de travail sur les espèces envahissantes et de l’entité maritime régionale.

    Nous avons également parlé aujourd’hui des progrès réalisés grâce au PE sur l’automobile conclu l’été dernier. Nous accroissons notre capacité de concevoir des technologies automobiles de pointe ainsi que la fiabilité de nos chaînes d’approvisionnement. Le maintien de notre solide partenariat et la libre circulation des matériaux entre nos territoires sont essentiels tant pour l’Ontario que pour le Michigan.

    Nous demeurons résolument déterminés à veiller à ce que les entreprises des deux côtés de la frontière soient florissantes et à améliorer la vie des gens des collectivités de l’Ontario et du Michigan. »

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