The much-anticipated opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bachman-Wilson House — originally built in New Jersey and relocated across the country to the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville — is set for Nov. 11, 2015.
The Bachman-Wilson House was transported 1,200 miles to the stunning woodland grounds of Crystal Bridges last year after the museum purchased it in 2013. Museum officials have been carefully reconstructing the house, complete with its original fixtures and furnishings, in preparation for its exhibitorial debut this fall.
Wright, who designed the home in 1954, has been lauded as one of the greatest American architects of all time. The Bachman-Wilson House is the first and only Wright-designed structure located in Arkansas.
The pavilion-style house originally stood in Somerset County, N.J., overlooking the Millstone River where encroaching water and the elements threatened to erode its structure. In 1988, it was purchased and restored by the architect/designers Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino.
The Tarantinos decided to sell their beloved home after determining its preservation was their number one priority. The sale, however, was conditional upon moving the house to a suitable natural site.
Once Crystal Bridges bought the house, museum officials began the meticulous process of disassembling it, and, with the help of J.B. Hunt Transport Service, moving it to Bentonville. Over the past year and a half, the house has been carefully reconstructed on the museum’s 120-acre grounds.
Architecturally, the house boasts a dramatic open floor plan, with horizontal and vertical planes that pass through the space to the outside. It represents Wright’s “Usonian” design philosophy – a specific American style of home that focused on affordability and accessibility.
Wright designed more than 1,000 structures, though he only completed 552 of them. One is the Bachman-Wilson House.
At Crystal Bridges, the house is situated along a 3.5-mile nature trail, overlooking a spectacular native woodland setting and Crystal Spring, the cool-water spring from which the museum takes its name.
“We’re honored to be able to preserve and share this significant example of American architecture, as Frank Lloyd Wright’s work embodies our own mission of celebrating art and nature,” said Crystal Bridges Executive Director Rod Bigelow. “The Usonian concept was intended to provide access to architectural quality for all families, which melds well with our philosophy of welcoming all to view American masterworks in our natural setting.”
The museum will make the house available for study, programming and tours. For more information, visit crystalbridges.org.