Spend the night in a Frank Lloyd Wright house near Lake Michigan
It’s not often that you get to spend time in an architectural marvel, let alone sleep in one. But in the small town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, you can do just that.
On East Twin River, just a mile from Lake Michigan, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is available for overnights. According to the official website, Still Bend, as the architect called it, was based on plans he had drawn up for Life magazine in 1938, when editors at the publication asked him to imagine his dream house. Two years later, his vision was realized, and the house was completed for Bernard and Fern Schwartz in 1940. The current owners, brothers Michael and Gary Ditmer, bought the property in 2003, and they occasionally stay there themselves when it’s not rented out.
Yes, that’s right. Unlike at other Wright masterpieces (Fallingwater, for example, has a very strict no-touching policy), guests at Still Bend are invited to relax and make themselves at home. With rates ranging from US$395 (€349) to $600 (€530) per night (with a two-night minimum stay), the mid-century grandeur doesn’t come cheap, but architecture and design fans will likely feel the experience is worth the price tag.
From the brick walls and tidewater red cypress–clad interiors to the soaring clerestory windows and vintage furnishings, it’s a breathtaking space. With two fireplaces and unobstructed views of the lush greenery that surrounds the property, the 63-foot-long room living area is Michael’s favorite part of the house. “It’s filled with such variety,” he says. “The different ceiling heights provide for a different feel depending on where you are in the space.”
Renting out a historic property comes with a measure of risk, but for the Ditmer brothers, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. “Most of our guests are used to touring house museums where they can’t even sit on the furniture,” Michael says. “Faced with the opportunity to actually live in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed masterpiece, they take great care to not cause damage.”
If a weekend visit isn’t in the cards, the curious can still sneak a peek. Still Bend is open for tours on a seasonal schedule, with US$15 (€13) tickets for adults and free entry for children. To check the tour schedule or rent the property for overnight stays or special events, visit theschwartzhouse.com; it’s also available via Airbnb.
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