Frank Lloyd Wright House in Peoria
In our travels we invariably run across landscapes and structures that attract our interest. Sometimes we seek out these elements; at other times we happen upon them. Last weekend we crossed into the setting of a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Stacey’s sister and husband recently moved to the venerable Moss-Bradley neighborhood in Peoria on the bluff above the Illinois River. Their lovely two-story brick house, probably classified as Italianate, dates from about 1895. A couple of blocks to the northeast on the opposite side of Moss Avenue is the Francis Little house, designed by Wright in 1904.
So at halftime of the Fighting lllini football game, which we viewed from the comfortable parlor of their home, Tom took me for a walk down Moss Avenue to see the architectural landmark, placed among other notable and exquisite houses in the neighborhood. Slated to have a significant two-story addition appended to it a few years ago, the house instead was restored to its original appearance after the new owners did an about-face. Especially beneficial was the removal of windows in the large east-facing porch.
Their epiphany may have come on response to this comment by a neighborhood preservation activist: “If someone were lucky enough to buy a Van Gogh sunflower painting but prefers roses, does the new owner have the right to paint a couple of roses into the picture? No one would do that with a painting, but with a house . . . it’s not looked at as a piece of art.” (Tim Hartneck, quoted in Howard, Peoria Journal-Star, January 25, 2009).