Owning a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, renowned American architect, best known by his design for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture”, is a real privilege. Such one gem, even secluded on Petra Island, renowned for its unique heart shape has just hit the market for $19.9 million. And, not just a house, but also the whole private island can be yours for that amount.
In 1949, when Frank Lloyd hand-picked the site himself and began designing what is now known as the Massaro house on Petra Island, he told the owner of Fallingwater: “When I finish the house on the island, it will surpass your Fallingwater.” Wright designed the 5,000 square foot dream house for engineer A.K. Chahroudi, but he would never see the house built, becouse the engineer couldn’t afford the $50,000 budget, so Wright had to design a small cottage, which is now the current guest house. Joseph Massaro then bought the island along with Wright’s original plans, and had the home built as Wright intended from 2003-2007.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation refuses to accept the house as authentic, so they even tried to sue Massaro for claiming so. But, Joe Massaro addressed the controversy with The Guardian back in 2006, saying “To me, that’s ridiculous. It’s like, if you found a symphony by Beethoven, you wouldn’t play it?”
Anyway, let’s go back to the property! Stunning 11-acre Petra Island which also boasts 200-year-old beech trees, a 5000-square foot main residence, art studio, and 1,200-square-foot cottage for weekend guests is just 47 miles from New York City in Lake Mahopac in Putnam County NY.
Wright’s inspiration can be felt everywhere in the home, due to efforts to to incorporate the native rock the home is built on, into the interior. In the main foyer, there is a 12 foot by 60 foot rock, while more rock appears in the bathroom and kitchen. Also, all woodwork has been custom-built to Wright’s specifications from African mahogany. The entire home is lined with windows, to not only maximize daylight, but to accentuate the natural beauty of the lake and island surrounding the home. Additionaly, the house also contains 6 wood-burning fireplaces, and is fully equipped with all modern conveniences, sucha as energy efficient climate control and radiant floor heating.
Also interesting, Petra Island has also attracted the praises of Apple- who used the site in the packaging of the Apple-based architecture software that helped bring the design to life. In addition, it will also be the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary.
If we aroused your interests with this story, you can find more information at AHAlife.