Our 2012 Travels travel blog

You Can See The House In The Distance

Entry Sign

Closer Look at the House


Side of the House

Living Room

Ceiling in the Living Room

Living Room Fire Place

You can see into the kitchen from the living room

Dining Area

50's Kitchen (It has been remodeled and is not original)

Hall to the four bedrooms

Master Bedroom

Closet in Master Bedroom

2nd Bedroom

View from 2nd bedroom of living room

3rd Bedroom

3rd Bedroom

Smallest Bedroom

Lee coming out the back door

Side of the house

After church in Elyria, we headed over to Oberlain, Ohio to visit the home that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the Weltzheimer-Johnson Family. This house was to be a modest home and the people asked if he could do a home for $15,000 which was their maximum. He said he could and they started the process in 1947. The house actually cost $42,000 before it was completed in 1949.

Mr. Wright used four principal materials in the home: wood, brick, concrete and glass. The floors are concrete (with radiant heat) and the outside walls were brick or glass. The ceilings and much of the interior were made of California Redwood. All of the bedrooms and the living room have glass walls facing the south. With all the windows, you would think that it would feel light and airy, however, the wood and brick walls, the wood ceiling and the darkly painted cement floors make it kind of depressingly dark as far as we were concerned. I suppose the style of the day being dark wood has something to do with it. If the wood had been something light, it would make all the difference in the world.

The home was owned by the Weitzheimer family from 1949 until the 1960's when financial tension caused Margaret and Charles to divorce. She and her younger daughters stayed in the house a few years. It was then sold twice, each time to a developer. Both times there were some changes made inside the house and portions of the original three acre site were sold off for housing plots. One of the developers painted all the brick in the home white completely ruining the effect that Frank Lloyd Wright had in mind. The kitchen was redone almost totally and there are not enough records to figure out exactly what it should look like. The bedrooms are all pretty small and I'm not sure a double bed would fit in the smallest one! It is a really small kitchen and one that I wouldn't want to live with. It looks more inconvenient that the one I cook in every day in our fifth wheel! I'm not sure how Frank Lloyd Wright could have improved upon it much considering the small amount of space for the kitchen.

This is the first Frank Lloyd Wright House that we have visited. We can understand what he was going for but I'm not sure that this house pulls it off well. We'd like to visit one of his larger homes one of these days.

Then it was purchased by Ellen Johnson who started scrubbing the white off the walls with the help of Oberlin College students. She lived in it until her death in 1992 when she left the house to the college. It is now managed by the Allen Memorial Art Museum. They use the house for many events and give tours on two Sundays a month.

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