Frank Lloyd Wright in Kalamazoo

Parkwyn Village was designed by Wright in 1947 as a cooperative community. The original plans called for over 40 circular and semi-circular lots. Four individual homes, designed by Wright, were built overlooking a small lake. Other homes in the neighborhood were built in a variety of styles, including some designed by Wright's firm, Taliesin Associates. This development gives a hint of how Wright's unbuilt Broadacre City could have looked.

The Wright-designed Usonian-style houses aren't particularly impressive from the street. Low walls of concrete block, narrow bands of windows, and carports are about the only visible features. The lake side is more interesting, with sweeping glass windows. The homes can be seen from the Asylum Lake Preserve , looking across the smaller lake.

2816 Taliesin Drive (built 1949)

2822 Taliesin Drive (built 1948)

2806 Taliesin Drive (built 1949)

2662 Taliesin Drive (built 1949)

Directions: Exit Interstate 94 at Oakland Drive (Kalamazoo, MI). Drive North on Oakland to Winchell. Turn left. Take Winchell to Parkwyn Drive. Left on Parkwyn to Taliesin Drive. (Taliesin Drive forms a circle with Parkwyn and Lorraine Drives, reflecting Wright's community plan.)

    A related Wright-designed cooperative community exists in nearby Galesburg, MI (11036, 11098, 11108, and 11185 Hawthorne Drive [off 36th Street]). Both cooperatives were founded by a group of scientists employed at the Upjohn Company. Part of this group felt the Galesburg site was too far to commute and built in Kalamazoo.

There are many other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings within a day's drive.
The Meyer May House in Grand Rapids is a nicely restored Prairie style home.  (450 Madison SE in the Heritage Hill neighborhood ) It's open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Sunday afternoon.  Admission is free.

Oak Park IL-- a suburb of Chicago-- has a large number of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings including his Home and Studio .  Wright's Robie House on the University of Chicago campus  is also open for tours.

Other websites about Kalamazoo architecture:

Frank Lloyd Wright Houses from the Kalamazoo Public Library website

Built Kalamazoo , a very nice site by David Kohrman of WMU

Art Deco Architecture in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Lost and Found

Kalamazoo History mentions local architecture

National Register of Historic Places: listing for Kalamazoo County

Frank Lloyd Wright Links

The All Wright Site has extensive information about Wright's buildings, indexed by state.

The Wright Web Guide has a information on Wright buildings that are open to tourists

Taliesin Architects continue to design using Wright's philosophy of organic architecture.

Boston College has a nice Frank Lloyd Wright Page as part of a larger architecture site.

The Wright Conservancy site has information about his buildings, including information about buying one of your own.

A PBS website includes a searchable Frank LLoyd Wright "building locator" .

Wrightian Association

Mary Ann Sullivan, a professor at Bluffton College
has a huge number of architectural photos , including photos of Wright's work on her website.

Louis Sullivan employed Frank Lloyd Wright  early in Wright's career.  A few Sullivan  links:

Louis Sullivan the architect and his work

Louis Sullivan

Kalamazoo does have one Sullivan building, the Desenberg building (251 E. Michigan Ave)

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April 1998
Chuck Stull
last revised December 2002