Jul
02

Tour a Frank Lloyd Wright Home; Help Pay a Mortgage

July 02, 2010

Soon you will be able to tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Prairie-style home thanks to a non-for-profit group that paid almost $2 million to acquire it.

Several months ago, I wrote about the B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee for sale and how an activist group was trying to buy it to turn it into a museum and arts education center.

Wright in Kankakee is hoping at least 10,000 people a year will pay to tour this room and the rest of the Bradley House.

This week, the group succeeded.

Wright in Kankakee on Wednesday bought the B. Harley Bradley House for $1.7 million. It was originally listed for $1,982,982.

The 6,000-square-foot home, located at 701 S. Harrison, Kankakee, is situated on the banks of the Kankakee River and will be converted into a museum later this month.

The nonprofit group will now count on contributions and tour admissions to keep up with the mortgage. The organization is hoping to rent out part of the house for offices, and some local businesses, including a landscaper, have offered to work on the house for free.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the home in 1900 for B. Harley and Anna Bradley, and many believe it to be the famed architect’s first example of Prairie style.

It went through many owners and changes throughout the year — it spent time as a restaurant, as a birdhouse factory and as the site of a kidnapping, to name a few, — until it was purchased in 2005 by Sharon and Gaines Hall, who spent $1 million rehabbing it.

In 2009, the home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Read more about its history here.

Located 60 miles south of Chicago on a dead-end street, the Bradley house has seven bedrooms, a riverfront sitting room, more than 100 art glass windows, an open floor plan, a concrete dock along the riverbank and a horse stall off the carriage house.

Tours could begin in a few weeks, and the home would be available to schools who want to study its architectural style.

Frank Lloyd Wright would be pleased.

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