Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dune House Hits the Market for $1.2M

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dune House Hits the Market for $1.2M

By Kathryn M.
Also known as the Armstrong House, the Usonian residence in Indiana was built in 1939 and expanded in the 1960s.

A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home is now up for sale in Portage, Indiana, about 40 miles east of Chicago along Lake Michigan. Originally completed in 1939, the tri-level Andrew F. H. Armstrong House is located in the coveted lakefront community of Ogden Dunes. Inside and out, the structure offers many signature details—including board-and-batten walls, handsomely articulated brickwork, and, of course, built-ins galore.

Recently listed for sale, the 1939 Andrew F. H. Armstrong House sits on sloping, mostly wooded lot in the Portage, Indiana-community of Ogden Dunes. The home is one of eight homes that the master architect designed in the state and is an example of his "Usonian" designs.

Inside, the main living area features mahogany board-and-batten walls flanked by a brick fireplace finished with finger-jointed corners. Large windows also overlook the wooded lot.

Wright designed the home's original floor plan based on a series of rotated grids, with each of the three levels rotated 30 degrees to take greater advantage of the sloping lot and provide differing views of the surrounding landscape. A carport marks the entryway on the ground level, followed by a double-height living area in the middle and the home's bedrooms along the top level.

In the 1960s, after the home cycled through multiple families, new owners Pat and John Peterson hired architect John Howe to redesign portions of the interior and to expand the structure, according to the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes. Howe, who served as the chief draftsman at Taliesin until Wright's death in 1959, had recently established his own practice and worked with the Petersons to add two additional bedrooms, as well as a new garage and family room. The kitchen was expanded and a screened-in porch was also added in the 1970s.

Architect John Howe updated some portions of Wright's original design to resolve issues encountered by early residents of the home. According to the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes, long-time owners of the home, Pat and John Peterson, have also completed other updates, such as replacing original cypress paneling that had darkened over the years.

Stairs from the living area lead up to the home's bedrooms.

Another view of the living area shows the built-in shelves and bench along the rear wall. One of the home's owners, John Peterson, reportedly built some of the furnishings by following Wright's plans.

Today, the nearly 3,700-square-foot home offers four bedrooms and four full bathrooms—one of which comes with a sauna. In addition to the main living area, a separate family room provides additional space for entertaining, as do multiple outdoor terraces. 

The home, which is sited on a quiet, .31-acre lot, is also within walking distance to beaches along Lake Michigan, as well as recreation areas within Indiana Dunes National Park. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for $1,195,000.

The living room also flows into a formal dining area, which features additional built-in cabinetry along one wall.

Opposite the dining area is the kitchen.

A large principal suite is located along the top level of the home. The space features board-and-batten walls, along with access to an outdoor area.

A look at one of the home's four full bathrooms.

The home also comes with three additional bedrooms—two of which Howe added during renovations in the 1960s.

One end of the home features the original, Wright-designed carport and entryway, while the opposite end offers an additional parking area and a two-car garage, also added by Howe.

The Armstrong House, located at 43 Cedar Trail in Portage, Indiana, is currently listed for $1,195,000 by John and Lauren DeFauw of McColly Real Estate. 

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