The Real Deal New York

A nearly lost work by FLW returns from the grave

Wright’s boathouse at Cedar Rock House has received a full restoration
September 04, 2016 11:50AM

The boathouuse (Credit: Friends of Cedar Rock)

The boathouuse (Credit: Friends of Cedar Rock)

Frank Lloyd Wright once designed a series of structures at what’s known as the Cedar Rock House in Quasqueton, Iowa. Now, a $220,000 restoration is underway on the standout structure at that project, known as Usonian house.

The project will preserve the property’s long neglected two-story boathouse, bringing a small piece of Wright’s oeuvre back to life, according to Curbed.

Set along the Wapsipinicon River, the Cedar Rock boathouse was the property of Lowell and Agnes Walter, who made their money in the Lowell’s Iowa Road Building Company and real estate investments.

In the 1940s, they presented Wright with 11 acres of riverfront farmland. Wright reluctantly visited the site and was inspired.

A 1949 image of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Cedar Rock River Pavilion

 A 1949 image of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Cedar Rock River Pavilion via Curbed

Completed in 1950, the home became an example of Usonian-era work by Wright. The house features a garden room surrounded by glass walls, offering views of the countryside.

“There’s something really special about the garden room at Cedar Rock, the way he brings the outdoors into the house just touches people,” says Kathryn Hund of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, who manages and oversees Cedar Rock. “There’s a quote where Wright talks about the building growing from the site, and I agree. It looks like it just grew from the ground.”

The restoration should be complete by October and the house will be open to visitors in May. [Curbed] –Christopher Cameron