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News April 2012

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A Frank Lloyd Wright House in NJ ready to deconstruct and reconstruct

April 19, 2012

The Bachman-Wilson house in Millstone, NJ, one of only three Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses in the state, is endangered—and for sale. With increasing development and resultant storm runoff upstream, and restricted water flow downstream, the Millstone River, beside which the house is sited, has been flooding with increasing frequency and at higher levels. After dealing with the aftermath of several such floods, the owners of the house, architects Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino, have concluded that the only way to save the house is to move it. As they are unable to carry out that effort themselves, they are proposing to sell the house to an owner who is prepared to dismantle the house and reconstruct it on a suitable new site.

The Tarantinos, who restored the house, have lived in it for 24 years, and thus know its intricacies intimately, intend to review site selection for appropriateness (e.g. orientation and topography) and oversee the dismantling and reconstruction process. They have produced a fascinating short film describing the house, its history and their proposal to move it.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, a nationwide preservation organization that is generally opposed to the relocation of Wright structures except as a last resort for saving them, has indicated its support for the Tarantinos’ proposal.

Watch the Tarantino’s Bachman-Wilson House film here. The final segment is an animation of how the house could be deconstructed and reconstructed on a new site.

Bachman-Wilson House, Frank Lloyd Wright, Millstone, NJ, 1954. Image courtesy Tarantino Studio