KINNEY HOUSE - Lancaster, WI, USA
KINNEY HOUSE - Lancaster, WI, USA
1,700+ square feet
3 beds (2 double, 1 twin)
2 night minimum stay
The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1951 for Patrick Kinney (a Lancaster, Wisconsin attorney), his wife Margaret, and their three children. Margaret had initially experienced Wright's architecture firsthand while working at Taliesin as an assistant to Wright's sister, and was inspired to commission Wright for their home. Construction was completed in 1953.
The original plan consisted of a double hexagonal central core housing the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and a bathroom. A linear wing housing two bedrooms and a second bathroom extended from the core. After completion, the arrival of a fourth child necessitated an addition for two more bedrooms and a bathroom. Taliesin Fellow John H. Howe, who had supervised the construction of the original house, designed the addition.
Wright’s lifelong passion to create a “democratic” Usonian-style of architecture is exemplified in the Kinney House. Rising to the challenge of the $15,000 budget, Wright suggested a modest 1500 s.f. modular footprint and concrete block as the primary building material. In an effort to keep costs down and get the local Wisconsin limestone he loved, Patrick Kinney acted as the contractor and took on some of the labor himself - going so far as to dynamite, cut, load and deliver limestone to the site in his 1939 Chevy truck before work most mornings. Consequently, the Kinney house is often referred to as one of Wright’s few “owner built” homes.
When most people think of modular homes they think 90-degree angles, but not Wright, whose genius is on display in the non-rectilinear layout. Wright believed the parallelogram plan - based on "diamond modules" and 60 and 120-degree angles - created interesting spaces that gave people a larger sense of rooms unfolding as they walked around the house. The “diamonds” extend beyond the plan to inform three-dimensional space: the ceiling, the lighting, and the furniture.
Today, when daughter Jane Kinney reflects on the house she remembers school children calling it a “space ship,” and the people from all over the world who would simply stop by unannounced hoping to get a peek at Wright’s work. Typically, her parents would invite the strangers in and proudly show them around, often for hours at a time. “Building this house,” Jane stated, “was the most defining aspect of my parent’s lives.”
Size: 1,700+ s.f.
Maximum Guests: 5
Beds: 3 (2 double, 1 twin)
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Daily Price: $395
Cleaning Fee: $120 (one time)
Check In: 3:00 p.m.
Check Out: 11:00 a.m.
First Aid Kit
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Autumn Color Change
Cross Country Skiing
Down Hill Skiing
National Register of Historic Places, 2008
Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places, 2007
Family Home. The Kinney House is dearly loved and has been frequently used by the original owners and their extended family. Many of the objects in the house — such as the dishes, rugs, paintings, and pottery — have personal meaning. The house is not a "museum level" restoration, but rather reflects the rich lives that the Kinney's crafted for themselves which also found expression in the house they commissioned from Frank Lloyd Wright.
Technology. No internet. Staying at the Kinney House allows you to disconnect from technology and connect with the architecture and natural surroundings. Be sure to bring your own wireless hot spot if you need to access the internet.
TV. There is a TV in the house, but it is used for playing DVDs only - there is no channel reception.
Bathtub. Please do not use the bathtub, it is currently being restored. There are two showers that can be utilized for bathing instead.
Heavy Rain. We have noticed a water leak above the shelves in the dining room during very heavy rainstorms.