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Outdoor, Trees, and Large Patio, Porch, Deck “At the time of construction,” said Wittkopp, “[the Smiths] were living in public housing in Detroit and each making $35 a week as schoolteachers.” To keep costs down, Melvyn Smith acted as his own contractor, and Frank Lloyd Wright relied on photographs and topographical surveys to design the structure rather than making a costly site visit. (He eventually visited after the home was finished.)  Photo 3 of 6 in Design Digest: A Guggenheim Gallery in Tulum, a Donated Frank Lloyd Wright House, and More