There are only four Frank Lloyd Wright -designed houses in the state of New Jersey. One of them- located in Millstone, in Somerset County and dating from 1954- was purchased by architects Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino back in 1988. The couple’s restoration work on the house was recently featured in the New York Times after the house won a merit award for preservation in the AIA-New Jersey’s 2008 design competition. In addition to restoring the house’s kitchen pursuant to Wright’s plans (the original kitchen was destroyed in 1999 by Hurricane Floyd), the Tarantinos also installed a historic barn from Vermont on the property that will serve as a design studio.
The house is an example of Wright’s Usonian style, which contemplated his vision for a new American architectural vernacular. Approximately 100 Wright-designed Usonian homes dot the country, and each is a good reminder that green architecture is not a new phenomenon. Wright executed his design for the Bachman-Wilson House- like all other Usonian homes- with a number of green design features, from passive solar design and natural daylighting to recycled construction debris and radiant heat. The Usonian houses were intended for lower income residents, designed with a smaller footprint than conventional homes and wihtout garages, attics, or basements.
The Bachman-Wilson House is located along the Millstone River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.