Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Marden House in 1952 for Luis Marden, an acclaimed National Geographic photographer, and his wife Ethel. The Marden House is made of cinder blocks and features a magnificent view of the river valley facilitated by 80 feet floor to ceiling windows.
When the Mardens left the house, the property became available on the market but also needed an heavy restoration: due to its highly desirable site and precarious status, it was at risk to be acquired by someone who wanted to tear it down.
And while concrete was still used for the floor, it too is polished in a lovely, rich, earthy texture. Taken with the stone workings, the shell is already quite beautiful, but it is also filled with some rather nice, simple pieces of furniture, especially the several Danish modern cabinets that appear in the corners of the living area.
Thankfully, the former Mardens neighbor and philanthropist, James V. Kimsey, bought it in 2000. He had built a luxurious and excessive house for himself shortly before buying the Frank Lloyd Wright Marden House, so he wasn’t interested in living in the small property.
He actually planned to make few alterations and using it as guest and parties house. However, he decided to listen to some people who told him not to as it wouldn’t have been respectful of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural legacy.
Other professionals specialized in historic houses repair and furnishings were brought into the project. Architect Richard Williams worked on restoring the lighting and designed a new dining table, Robin Rose -a 20th century art and furniture dealer- found appropriate Modernist pieces and Daniel Donnelly –a furniture designer- created a post-war inspired sofa.
The overall renovation was definitely a homage to Frank Lloyd Wright and his architectural legacy, thank you Mr. Kimsey!