1907 Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings

Value (2004) | $100,000 Retail$125,000 Retail

APPRAISER:
We just have a sampling here. You have a pile more of this, but we could only get so much on camera. But tell me what you have.

GUEST:
All right, this was actually a home that was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright for my great-grandparents. And we have lots of correspondence. My great-grandmother wrote to him back and forth and she wanted him to build her a remodel of what they already lived in, and that's what this one is. Well, as she basically tells him in her letters, he doesn't know anything, because he's just not getting it. And so for her to tell Frank Lloyd Wright he's just not getting it was kind of a family joke, but eventually they came to the idea that it was going to be too costly and wasn't ever going to be what she wanted. And so they came up with the plans for this house. So this was the first plan that he drew out.

APPRAISER:
And they rejected that.

GUEST:
And she rejected it, yes. Not enough bedrooms and no closet space.

APPRAISER:
Okay, then they came up with...

GUEST:
They came up with the typical Prairie style and it's a beautiful home; it's still standing. It's been completely restored by the people who live there now. And this is a picture shortly after it was built.

APPRAISER:
One of the things that was interesting... You were talking about your grandmother or great-grandmother. What was her role in this?

GUEST:
Great-grandmother was actually the general contractor. She found all of the workmen, she contracted everything that needed to be done right down to how much the bricks were going to cost, how much the windows were going to be.

APPRAISER:
You have a complete building list that obviously your great-grandmother as contractor had to have. Now, this man, what was his role in this?

GUEST:
Basically he was the money man. He paid for the thing and he had set aside about $5,000 to build this house and it ended up costing up around $10,000 to build the house, and he was infuriated.

APPRAISER:
Something like this-- just a price list or a building list-- would be worth a few thousand dollars. Uh, letters, correspondence back and forth about building a house-- and you have about 20, 30 letters.

GUEST:
Yes, we do.

APPRAISER:
That's $25,000, $35,000. In 1995, a drawing of Frank Lloyd Wright's for a house sold for $20,000. You have these two, which are the best, but then you have a pile of others underneath there?

GUEST:
Yes, we do.

APPRAISER:
You probably have about $75,000 for what's here.

GUEST:
No way.

APPRAISER:
Now, in addition, all the other drawings and so on, you might have $100,000, $125,000 or more, conservatively.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And museums would kill to get this. But I'll tell you, Frank Lloyd Wright original drawings... amazing-- all the letters, it's fabulous.

GUEST:
It's a great story and we love it, but probably never sell it.

APPRAISER:
Well...

GUEST:
Oh, it's just fantastic!

APPRAISER:
No, I think they want you...

GUEST:
Oh are we done? Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me.

APPRAISER:
(laughs) Thank you for being excited, but... they need you to be excited there.

GUEST:
Well, it's wonderful. It's just a wonderful piece of our heritage and we've really enjoyed it and it's a fabulous place.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Brattle Book Shop
Boston, Massachusetts
Appraised value (2004)
$100,000 Retail$125,000 Retail
Event
Omaha, NE (July 10, 2004)
Period
20th Century
Material
Paper

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