The Currier Museum of Art has acquired a second home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is one of only seven Usonian Automatic houses to survive. The museum now has two outstanding houses by America’s most important architect, making possible exciting new experiences for visitors. Together with the museum’s Zimmerman House, also by Wright, the new house establishes Manchester as a significant center of Wright’s residential architecture, while also offering immersive experiences beyond the museum’s walls.
Known as the Kalil House, the impending sale brought a real danger that it might be altered, moved away, or even torn down. An anonymous donor has provided the funds to purchase the house. The donor states: “It is a real privilege to be able to help the Currier Museum of Art acquire this house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is an important piece of American architecture and the public’s enjoyment of this house will be increased immeasurably by having the Zimmerman House just three doors down for comparison and contrast.”
The house was built in 1957 for Dr. Toufic and Mildred Kalil, who followed in the footsteps of their friends and neighbors, Dr. Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman who had commissioned their Wright house in 1950. The Kalils should be credited with commissioning a striking house which is different in design and character from the Zimmerman’s residence. Frank Lloyd Wright designed only a handful of houses in New England. The Usonian Automatic design predicts many aspects of open-plan modern homes. Wright used contrasts of narrow and wide spaces, and light and shadow to enliven the small two-bedroom structure. It is built of concrete components made in Manchester and mahogany imported from the Philippines.