Meyer May House Tour

Meyer May House Tour

By: Amanda Medlen This past Thursday, one of my IDO colleagues, Lee Boyland, and I had the privilege of touring one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, the Meyer May House, on our annual IIDA Indiana Chapter  board retreat (sponsored by Steelcase) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It is one of the most complete and beautifully restored of all of Wright’s Prairie (style) houses. A brief history – In 1908 Meyer and Sophie May commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build their home on Madison Avenue.  Merely one year later, the house was completed.  Over the next 76 years (and through the hands of few other owners), the home had an extensive addition (including two bedrooms upstairs and servants’ quarters on the main floor), sat empty for six years, been rezoned as a multiple family dwelling and had carports and forced air heating added.  Finally, in 1985, Steelcase purchased the home and began extensive restoration research.  In 1987, the restoration of the house was complete and opened to the public. Frank Lloyd Wright was surely not missing one single minute detail in his design and construction of this house.  Even the furniture that he created was an integral part of the house.  Each piece was well thought out and planned exactly for the space in which it resided.  The series of windows (from the exterior) was not an indication of the number of rooms inside, but rather was a part of the rhythmic pattern of brick and glass. This is just a little bit of the history of the house and a few of the overall details and concepts (a teaser perhaps!). I would encourage you to read more about the house and to visit it if you ever get the opportunity. Thank you Steelcase for restoring this beautiful and historical piece of architecture and sharing it with all of us, both now and for future generations to come.

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