A Frank Lloyd Wright Home With Unusual Materials Hits the Market at $2.75M

A Frank Lloyd Wright Home With Unusual Materials Hits the Market at $2.75M

By Lucy Wang
In Minneapolis, this stunning property features unique marble masonry—an element not found in any other Frank Lloyd Wright home.

One of only two Frank Lloyd Wright–designed homes in Minneapolis has hit the market for $2,759,000 via Sotheby’s International Realty

Built in 1950, The Neils House is a rare gem, not only for its location, but also for its use of then-expensive materials—like the cull marble bearing walls, knothole-free larch interior paneling, and aluminum window framing—that are atypical finds in a Wright home. 

The Neils House is the only Wright-designed home built with marble walls.

The unusual material selection was a special request from the original owner, Henry J. Neils, a stone and architectural metals distributor who was fully involved in the design and construction of the house through an extensive correspondence with Wright. 

He and his wife, Frieda, not only convinced the master architect to design a home within city limits, but also persuaded Wright to use innovative materials affordably procured from the companies the Neils were associated with. 

Rooted in Usonian design principles, the home's living room, dining area, kitchen, and maid's quarters are located in the "active" wing, while the three bedrooms and two bathrooms are housed in the second wing.

The L-shaped home’s overall effect, however, is still undeniably Usonian. Built primarily of stone and wood, the 2,511-square-foot abode embraces the wooded landscape that sits directly adjacent to public park lands. 

The historic three-bedroom, three-bathroom dwelling has been meticulously maintained, and has only had two previous owners. Keep scrolling to take a tour of this rare midcentury-modern masterpiece.

All windows and doors have been custom-designed and fitted with aluminum framing.

The Neils House overlooks the area's serene Cedar Lake, as well as a wooded swath of city-owned parkland.

The glazed entrance is accessed through the carport and opens up to a long north-south gallery bisected by a low bookcase.

A non-load bearing window wall—a characteristic feature of Usonian houses—dominates the living room.

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A 17-foot-tall vaulted ceiling delivers drama to the open-plan dining room and living room.

A large open-hearth fireplace with a cull marble forms a focal point in this sitting area.

Stainless steel countertops, provided from the homeowner's business, Flour City Ornamental Iron Company, has replaced the linoleum countertops specified by Wright.

The concrete slab floor is integrated with radiant floor-heating technology throughout.

Shellacked and Western larch boards clad the interior non-bearing walls.

Due to its high cost, clear Western larch was an unusual option for interior paneling at the time of construction. However, it became a cost-effective choice thanks to the homeowner's lumber business connection.

The double wall system built of cull marble is lined with two-inch rigid cork insulation. The walls taper from the ground up, making the bottom of the wall approximately four times thicker than the top.

Set on a concrete slab, the home features bearing walls and a chimney built of scrap marble blocks that have been laid in a horizontal pattern.

Wright designed the built-in furniture, including the banquettes, desks, tables, and beds.

The glass-and-aluminum door is angled to match the angle of the roof gable.

The smooth and shiny polished edges of the marble were chipped away to create a rough finish. Certain marble blocks have been stained to downplay their distractingly light coloration.

The Neils house has only had two previous owners, all of who are members of the Neils family.

The one-story home is topped with an asymmetrical gable cedar shingle roof with cantilevered gable ends, deep overhangs, and pronounced redwood fascia boards.

2801 Burnham Boulevard, Minneapolis, Minnesota is now being listed by Sotheby's International Realty for $2,759,000. See the full listing here. 

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