The story goes that in 1951 Andrew and Maude Cooke were looking to design a home for them and their three children in Virginia. But they didn't want just any home. They wanted one designed just for them by Frank Lloyd Wright. In the now famous letter penned to the prolific designer, Mrs. Cooke asks: “Dear Mr. Wright, Will you please help us get the beautiful house we dreamed of for so long?”
For the next couple of years, correspondence between Wright and the couple continued, with Wright supplying an initial rendering in 1953 and the final plans in 1957. Construction on the four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house began in 1959, two weeks before Wright’s death—making it one of the architect’s last designs. The house was completed in 1960, and is sited along Crystal Lake in Virginia Beach, Va. According to the house’s website, the family lived there for the next 23 years.
In 1983, Daniel and June Duhl purchased the house and assessed that it needed significant renovations. They added passive solar design and air conditioning units to protect the house from the Southern humidity. The restoration work garnered a preservation award from the AIA Hampton Roads chapter in Smithfield, Va.
Two years ago, the house was put up for sale for $3.75 million, making it one of the most expensive houses designed by Wright on the market at the time.
This past August, the house was put back on the market for for $2.75 million. The residence includes the original, 40-foot sofa designed by Wright and the 70-foot semicircular great room which creates a gentle arc enclosing the back outdoor living area and offering views of the nearby lake through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Those hesitant to fully commit to purchasing the house can try it out for a night our two through Airbnb, as the house is listed there by Daniel and June Duhl.