Frank Lloyd Wright's Palmer house, built in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the early 1950s, is one of Wright's last residential masterpieces. Working from extensive materials gathered by Ann and Leonard Eaton, and from his own fifty-two-year familiarity with the building, Grant Hildebrand crafts the story of Billy and Mary Palmer's extraordinary home. He presents in detail the events surrounding the Palmers' selection of Wright as architect; Wright's personal creation of the design; the challenges, and the craftsmanship, of its construction; the evolution of its garden and teahouse; the role of the house as a setting for the Palmers' lives; and an analysis of its remarkable formal and spatial qualities.
With a rich compendium of personal information and an extensive array of photographs, plans, and diagrams created especially for this book, Frank Lloyd Wright's Palmer House offers a comprehensive exploration of a living work of art and an intimate portrait of the people who, having brought it into being, treasured its presence in their lives for half a century.
Citing the particular synergies of architect and client, house and site, Hildebrand situates the heretofore little-known Palmer house within the context of Wright's overall oeuvre and presents a convincing argument for the inclusion of the Palmer house in the canon of the architect's finest residential designs.
Grant Hildebrand is a University of Washington professor emeritus of architecture and art history and author of The Wright Space: Pattern and Meaning in Frank Lloyd Wright's Houses. He is a recipient of the Washington Governor's Writers Award, for work of literary merit and lasting value. Leonard K. Eaton is a University of Michigan professor emeritus of architecture and author of Two Chicago Architects and Their Clients: Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard van Doren Shaw. He and his wife, Ann Eaton, now live on the Oregon coast.
Preface and AcknowledgmentsPrelude1. The Palmer House and Its Context: An Overview2. Designing the House3. Building the House4. Furnishing the House5. The Garden6. The House, the Garden, and Family Life7. The House: An AppreciationChronologyNotesBibliographic NoteIndex