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1958 Midcentury Prarie Style home built by granddaughter to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright

June 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Front exterior of the Stern home. (National Register of Historic Places)Dan Francis Photography
I tend to do a few personal projects from time to time: no clients, no time limit. Just an idea that I get and my own passion to follow through on the project – and it has been that way ever since my Fargo: Past/Present series.

I went through my projects that I’ve created over the last 11 years. Most of them involved people and their stories, so I thought I’d do a personal project that is closer to home, so to speak, that involves something I do everyday: Architecture Photography. But this project was special. I hope my images can draw more attention to what can happen in the future.

Prariestyle look is a style that really stands out to this day.Dan Francis Fargo

Last year, I was leaving an architecture event hosted by the Plains Art Museum and I drove past a home. I had not driven this way before, so while I drove down the street, I slowed down my car to get a better look. (According to the homeowners, this happens frequently!) Interest, right? Once you see it, it just has the power to draw you in.
Dan Francis Fargo Dan Francis Fargo Dan Francis Fargo

I later realized it was a historical home on the National Register because the home’s architect was a 3rd generation architect named Elizabeth Wright Ingraham – or, the granddaughter of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd wright, daughter to another famous architect John Wright. You may known him better as the creator of Lincoln Logs. The home was built in 1958; Frank Lloyd Wright passed away in 1959, making this one of the last projects he saw finished. I love discovering the rich history of my projects; just like the Fargo series.

Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo Interior of the Stern Home located in Fargo, NDDan Francis Fargo

Dan Francis Fargo

The house is under threat for being torn down due to the Fargo Flood wall project. This time next year, the home may no longer be here. What a shame and loss for Fargo as we watch another historical structure being torn down. John, the homeowner, would love to see it saved for Fargo’s future. While I was shooting, John mentioned the potential for NDSU architect students can study the house to further their education and knowledge or even to serve as a muse for artists like myself. After living there for 36 years, this isn’t just a house to him; it’s a home.

Dan Francis Fargo Dan Francis Fargo
Notes about Elizabeth:

-She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.

-She was a draftswomen for the United State Navy in World War II.

-She decided to pursue a career in architecture at age 14.

-She passed away, just like Frank Lloyd Wright, at the age of 91.

https://www.kvrr.com/2017/01/04/fargo-homeowner-fights-to-save-his-historic-home/

A word from the homeowner John Stern: 

"Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Mid-Century Modern house in South Fargo was designed by the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, America's most famous architect.  It is the only remaining home in Fargo Moorhead of the three she and her husband designed.  It has many of the characteristics of a Wright design: flat roofs, clerestory windows, horizontal lines, built-in cabinetry, natural materials, connection with the outside.  Living in the home is like living in a work of art that changes with the seasons and the time of day.  Unfortunately, it is on a buy-out list to make room for a flood levee, although there is a possibility it will be saved."


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