Tour a Divine $1.5 Million Dream House From Wright’s Last Apprentice

On the northern outskirts of Chicago is a concept house with a mixed design palette. It’s not completely Arts & Crafts or Prairie School, although you can hear these footsteps. It claims a bragging-rights architectural pedigree, and it’s worth every bit of the fuss.

Photo by: Prudential Rubloff Begin with a theatrical entrance of undulating steps, miles of windows revealing a glowing interior, big timber, big stones, carved wooden double front doors and mature planters. Landscape and design firm Brickman Group was tapped for a Gold Award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association for the exterior and interior designs. The home’s concept centers around five distinct interconnecting “pods.” 

When talking about this complex beauty, name-dropping is perfectly acceptable. Frank Lloyd Wright’s talented apprentice, Arthur Dennis Stevens, echoes the iconic master’s angular play of light, shadow and tiered spaces in this 6,000-square-foot Riverwoods home.  Built in 1981 on 2.7 woody acres at 7 Timberline Lane, in a suburb about 30 miles north of the Loop, the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath is gaspably stunning. Since it went on the market it's had a Hollywood blockbuster public relations push, with ecstatic adjectives filling columns of press: "stunning," "masterpiece," "one-of-a-kind," "magnificent." 

It's to be expected.  Entering on the second level, through the foyer, the impact of the two-story atrium is thrilling. Are we perched on a cliff? Are we standing on a mountain inside the house? There’s actually a patent held on the curved pagoda-style roof's beam structure. The effect is enchanting. The visitor is enveloped by an innerscape that is, on one hand, a startling continuation of the natural surroundings of the Ryerson Woods Forest — the cedar, glass, and stone house seems to stretch from the earth. On the other hand, the home trumpets peculiar motifs that don't quite register on a conscious level. Not at first. There are no internal dividing walls, for instance. The master bedroom suite has floor-to-ceiling glass doors you might think are windows. 

Stevens was an imaginative and determined 17-year-old when he joined Wright’s circle of 60 apprentices at his studios in Taliesin, Wis., in 1948. He was the youngest in the group and Wright's last student, and though here’s a composition instantly recognizable as having Wright’s unmistakable influence, or at least the soul of his ideas, Stevens is his own man. And we'll add to the chorus of praise: This Prairie Modern is luscious. 

Repped by Tracy L. Wurster of Prudential Rubloff. Asking $1.5 million. 

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