Design secret of suburban US home revealed

An unremarkable home in an ordinary American suburb has been revealed as having a secret – it was designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright built many homes in his home state of Wisconsin, but one had been hiding in plain sight for decades – a home on Newton Avenue in Shorewood near Milwaukee.

“I received a tip about the Newton home a few years ago and brushed it off. Only 433 Wright designs were executed and they are well-known and carefully researched, so I thought it couldn’t be,” said researcher Mike Lilek who is an expert on Wright’s designs.

“When I finally visited the home I discovered many similarities to the Wright homes I care for on Burnham Street in Milwaukee.”

After research, it was proved the home, constructed in 1917 as an American System-Built House – was designed by the iconic architect. It is the first such discovery in a decade.

It was part of his venture to build for a broad market by standardising homes to make them affordable.

The Shorewood house –called the Elizabeth Murphy House – is a “Model A203″ with two bedrooms.

Although some remodeling has occurred over the years, many Wright designs are still visible: the original art glass windows, the wide chimney, the hipped roof, a pebble dash wall finish and woodwork on the walls.

“This is so incredibly rare and unusual,” Lilek said.

The home, owned by Pat Wisialowski, is expected to increase in value by 40%

“It’s a gift and a blessing to have this home,” Wisialowski said. “It’s a work of art.”