Published: April 24, 2007
In the 1930s and 1940s, Frank Lloyd Wright designed 47 homes in a 100-acre community called Usonia in Pleasantville, N.Y. Featuring four to six of those homes, the Neuberger Museum of Art will present an unusual architectural house tour titled “Usonia” on Monday, June 4. The tour will be combined with a breakfast and a lecture by Roland Reisley, author of Usonia New York: Building a Community with Frank Lloyd Wright .
Reisley, one of the original residents of Usonia, has donated his time and first-hand knowledge in planning this unique event. Proceeds will benefit the Neuberger Museum of Art.
The term Usonia was often invoked by Wright to describe his vision for the American landscape. As an alternative to America’s urban ills, Wright proposed a balanced synthesis of architecture and landscape that would stretch from coast to coast. Wright’s Usonian homes †designed for the middle class †were typically modest single-story dwellings, L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace and blend in with the surrounding landscape, and built with environmentally conscious, native materials.
The influence of traditional Japanese architecture found in Wright’s designs can be seen in the open floor plans, flowing interiors with movable screen partitions, emphasis on natural light, overhanging eaves and shallow-pitch roofs. A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces was an important characteristic of all Usonian homes.
The tour will begin with a breakfast at the museum at 8:30 am. This will be followed by a lecture and book signing by Reisley at 9:15 am. The tour to Usonia will begin at 10:30 am from the museum and should finish around 1:30 pm. After the tour, visitors will have an opportunity to visit The Studio art gallery in nearby Armonk, N.Y., where there is an exhibition on view about the development of Usonia.
The cost for the house tour (including transportation, breakfast, lecture and tour) is $100 for museum members; $120 for nonmembers; an additional $30 for lunch at 2 pm is optional. Discount museum memberships will be offered that day. Reservations are required. To make a reservation or for more information, www.neuberger.org or 914-251-6115.
The Neuberger Museum of Art is on the campus of Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm