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History

Kalamazoo boasts unique collection of Frank Lloyd Wright homes

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Flickr - Shinya Suzuki
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It’s the peak of home buying and selling season, and we’ll look back on historic Michigan homes that were to take a leap foward. Current State takes us to Western Michigan’s Usonian community.

Summertime brings peak activity in the home buying, selling and building season. Current State takes you back to a unique 20th-century house.

“Usonian” is an architectural term attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, describing some of his affordable family home designs beginning in the 1930s. Usonian homes were typically small, single story dwellings without a garage or much storage. But they were as thoughtfully designed as Wright’s commissions for far wealthier clients. A group of young professionals in Kalamazoo County was among the first to embrace Wright’s innovative idea.

The eight Usonian homes he developed for them in Kalamazoo’s The Acres and Parkwyn Village comprise the largest concentration of these structures in the country.

Current State's Peter Whorf talks with Sharon Ferraro, co-author of the Michigan History Magazine article, "Kalamazoo’s County’s Usonian Communities."

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