I have not finished my posts from our trip to Taliesin, Wingspread, Jacobs House, Robie House, Oak Park yet but will soon have some up-to-date information.
My wife and I were most impressed by the Jacobs house and the beauty it hides in the rear. I found a writing by Herbert Jacobs that details his life building the house and living in it for several years. Check it out, it an eye into the Usonian lifestyle that Frank Lloyd Wright clearly defined for the Jacobs family and many more families to come.
After seeing the Jacobs house and reading the passion all involved had for that house my wife and I began to rethink our path.
…and we have a really Usonian solution to the issue of living in a Usonian style house and achieving our dreams much earlier than expected.
We have decided to purchase a 150 ft by 600+ ft property on the north shores of lake erie within the next 6 months or so (for we hope between $60K and $90K). We may even be able to get a 3 year option on it for 10% down in some cases freeing up some cash to build with. We will then take the garage/shop section of our previous usonian floor plan, and design it into a 3 bedroom livable cottage. It will be about 900 square feet, use a slab on grade foundation, in floor heat. It can be built extremely fast (in about 2 or 3 months) for around $30K in materials and permits and hookups. The idea is to go as cheap as possible and retain the footprint of the future garage/shop.
Once complete we will sell our existing home, move into it and reduce our debt load by half, leaving a minimal house payment, a comfortable cottage on the lake to begin our Usonian lifestyle (minimal stuff) and it lets us complete the remaining 2,400 square feet house at our leisure and budget timeframe.
The decision to do this has a much longer explanation to it but for now realize we will be into a new property, new house and not have nearly the debt load. It also lets us only carry one property and not be a slave to two houses (my worst nightmare as we were once in that situation).
The other piece of news is while on our trip, we met up with a rather knowledgeable architect (that is significantly important in the field of Frank Lloyd Wright style houses) that will be helping us with our design and steps forward. He even gave us a way to reduce the house cost by about $20K (which will I hope easily make up for his fee). My wife and I are super stoked about this news.
Will catch up more later and have some photos of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses including panoramic shots of a few.