Even if you know next to nothing about architecture, you probably know the name Frank Lloyd Wright. His designs seem to transcend their time period and remain relevant despite changing tastes and style. Dayton is fortunate to have such an accessible Frank Lloyd Wright home just a short drive from the city.*
In the early 1900s, while Springfield and Dayton were building homes in the Victorian style, one business owner and his artistic, progressive wife commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design their home to be something completely different. Wright designed their home in the "Prairie Style," with an emphasis on horizontal lines, earth tones and a connection to nature.
The Westcotts enjoyed their unique home for the rest of their lives (in fact, they both had their funerals in the living room 3 years apart). They were the MVPs of the Society pages, throwing frequent dinner parties and entertaining all of the biggest people in Springfield at the time. Unfortunately, the home fell into disrepair and was converted into apartments for many years before succumbing to near abandonment.
In 2001, the restoration began, totaling $5.8 million and 4 years of work. Now the Westcott House has been restored to its former glory and is open to the public year-round. Westcott House offers hourly tours for individuals or groups. Visitors can take as many photos of the outside of the building as they would like, however they ask that no photos be taken inside (all the more reason to plan a visit to see it for yourself!). They also have an amazing gift shop full of t-shirts, frames, postcards, wall art, ornaments and jewelry featuring Frank Lloyd Wright designs.
Since Westcott House is located near downtown Springfield, it's close to restaurants and shopping, making it a great destination for a day trip.
*Dayton has one Frank Lloyd Wright building, but since it's a medical facility, it's not open for tours.
Want to go?
WHAT: Westcott House
WHERE: 85 South Greenmount Avenue, Springfield
HOURS: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. See website for seasonal tour schedule
INFO: 937-327-9291 or http://www.westcotthouse.org
COST: $15/adults, $12/seniors, AAA members, students and groups of 8 or more