Friday, April 23, 2010

The Zimmerman House- A Historical House from the 1940s!

When you think of historical houses in New England, are you thinking of saltbox style colonial era houses built in the 1600s and 1700s? There are plenty of houses from all historical eras here, Greek Revivals from the 1830s, stately Victorian “Painted Ladies” from the 1880s, shingle style cottages from the 1910s along the coastline, but what about contemporary architect built houses by Frank Lloyd Wright?

I had the good luck to stay overnight in a Frank Lloyd Wright house about fifteen years ago in Michigan, and it was then that I began to appreciate historical houses from all eras. This house was charming with its warm wood trims and built in furniture. At about this time the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire acquired a Frank Lloyd Wright house and opened it to the public for tours. It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house open for tours in New England.

At the Zimmerman house, Frank Lloyd Wright designed everything, not just the house. He drew up the plans for the gardens as well as making all the furniture, even the mailbox. The Zimmerman family was made up of musicians, so Wright created a four way music stand so they could play together. People travel from all over the world to see the Zimmerman House.

I don’t really appreciate modern architecture much, but I imagine that at one time even the houses of colonial America were criticized. I can imagine two Puritans having this conversation:

“What thinkest thou of the pediment Ezekiel hath placed above his door?”

“Me thinkest he believes himself above his station in life! Such an usual doorway!”

Now you can not only visit the Zimmerman house, but there are new tours open just for photographers and photography. Just in time for the lovely gardens that the museum maintains around the house to burst into bloom! The photographer’s tours are only on Saturdays from now until June at 10:30 AM. The photographer’s tour costs $25 instead of the usual $20, and includes an extra half hour to take photographs. Price includes general admission to the Currier Museum. The tour begins at the museum where a bus brings you to the house, which is only accessible through the museum. Please make advance reservations at least one week ahead of time.

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