No surface was left untouched in the restoration of this Frank Lloyd Wright house built in 1955. To get it right, Dyson Architects dug through original plans and historic and family photographs, conferring with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and even Cornelia Brierley, Frank Lloyd Wright’s interior designer.

With skill and sensitivity, the design and construction team brought the house up to date without changing any of its original features. The work involved fixing a serious ridge failure, correcting site drainage problems, tearing away several additions and alterations, updating the windows and building systems, and restoring every inch of the interiors. A major part of the job was refurbishing the mahogany paneling, doors, and cabinets. “The wall paneling looked cheap, like it wasn’t original,” Arthur Dyson says. “It’s just that it had faded so badly. We thought we would have to replace it, but the painting people restored it to the original look.”

As a bonus, Dyson Architects added some elements from Wright’s original drawings that had been left out, such as a spiral caldron in the living room fireplace, a forecourt for the entry and carport, and the master bedroom fireplace. “Somewhere along the line, maybe during construction, Harriet Fawcett thought it would be nice to put quarry tile in the kitchen,” Dyson adds. “It did not match. We put the concrete floor back so it is seamless throughout the house.”

Our judges applauded the entire team for its meticulous work on this iconic mid-century modern structure. 

On Site

The house was built for Harriet and Randall Fawcett, who lived in the house their entire lives. After Harriet died, Randall’s second wife, thinking the house too masculine, had the exterior golden tan concrete walls painted pink. Dyson, who had worked for Frank Lloyd Wright, had been to the house before it was repainted but couldn’t remember the exact color. “We found a few spots behind cabinets with that paint, and after extensive research and countless color samples, we found the right match,” Dyson says.

 
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