Are you a house-collecting student of modernism, someone who can hold forth at soirées about how hemicycle homes were early pioneers of passive climate control? How about a weekender who wants a place in Virginia Beach?
Whatever the reason you’re looking, for $2.75 million, you could do a lot worse than the Cooke House, a lakeside redoubt that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Maude and Andrew Cooke and their three kids during the last years of his life.
The home’s saga began in 1951 with a letter from by Maude. "Dear Mr. Wright," she wrote, "Will you please help us get the beautiful house we have dreamed of for so long?" Two years later, America’s foremost modernist shared an early rendering of a 3,000-square-foot glazed-brick structure for the Cookes’ plot of land on Crystal Lake near the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The semicircular design, which is representative of Wright’s Usonian homes, was finalized in 1957. Construction commenced in the spring of 1959, two weeks before the architect passed away on April 9.
In Wright’s absence, the Cookes executed his vision faithfully, with the exception of the proposed pool, which was deleted from his original plan. The family lived quietly at the Mid-Atlantic hideaway until 1983, when it changed hands and gained an air conditioning system (despite its passive solar design), two docks, a building for a sauna, a gym, and mechanical storage, and a 14-foot swim spa.
Now the four-bedroom, three-bath home is on the market once again, this time for $2.75 million. Prospective buyers can arrange a tour to admire its copper roofing or the curved windows in the 70-foot-long great room. Everyone else will have to settle to take a time-warp via new photos of the freshly for-sale midcentury treasure.
All images courtesy of Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty
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