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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

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Monday, Saturday, Sunday Closed

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  • Home
  • Frank Lloyd Wright House

Frank Lloyd Wright House

Explore the Weltzheimer/Johnson house, Ohio’s first Usonian home.

Attend an Open House
Interior Bedroom Photo by Dirk Bakker

Upcoming open houses

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House is closed for the remainder of 2020, due to the pandemic. We hope to reopen in April 2021.

Normally, open houses are held on the first Sunday of the month from noon to 5 p.m., April through November (except Easter and Independence Day). Presentations on the architecture and history of the house begin on the hour at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. Advance registration is highly recommended.

admission

Admission

Admission is $10 per adult. Oberlin College students (with ID) and youths under 18 years old are admitted free of charge.

parking

Parking

Parking is restricted to the south side of Morgan Street (the golf course side).

directions

Directions

The house is located at 534 Morgan St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074 (set back from the road). Download directions to the house from downtown Oberlin and the museum.

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House at Oberlin College is a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House situated several blocks from campus. Designed in 1947 and completed in 1949, it is the first Usonian house in Ohio and one of the few in the nation open to the public.

A clear expression of Wright’s Usonian design philosophy, the Weltzheimer/Johnson House demonstrates an architectural answer to the demand for beautiful and affordable middle-class homes in post-World War II America. The concepts of organic architecture had evolved into these Usonian characteristics by the time of the house’s construction: a flowing floor plan with distinct public and private wings; a slab floor of concrete with grid patterning and radiant heat; a flat roof and cantilevered carport; a centralized masonry fireplace; board-and-batten ceilings with “sandwich” walls; built-in furniture; and tall glass windows and doors opening to the landscape.

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House may in certain ways be a typical Usonian home, but has notable aesthetic idiosyncrasies, including the wooden balls ornamenting its cornice, the uniquely curvilinear design of its perforated board windows, and the use of redwood (instead of the usual cypress) throughout its interior and exterior.

Commissioned by the Weltzheimer family in 1947 and completed in 1949, the house originally stood amid cornfields on a large lot across from the Oberlin Golf Club (founded in 1899 and active today). After the Weltzheimers sold the property, alterations to Wright’s design were made by intervening developers. The property went through several stages of conservation before it was bequeathed to Oberlin College in 1992.

In 1968, the home was purchased by Ellen H. Johnson, the distinguished art history professor at Oberlin College who started its famed art rental program. Johnson, a well-known art critic and collector, hosted such artists as Robert Morris in her home. With the help of her many students and local contractors, Johnson restored much of the property to its original state as designed by Wright. She bequeathed the house to Oberlin College and, following her death in 1992, it has been overseen by the AMAM and the Art Department.

Accessibility

Download directions to the accessibility parking at the FLW House. The house can accommodate walkers, but is only partially accessible to wheelchairs. If you have questions or need to make arrangements, please email education.amam@oberlin.edu or call 440-775-8671.

Private tours

Tours for groups of 10 or more are available, depending on availability, from April through early November. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the visit. To inquire about a private tour, please email education.amam@oberlin.edu or call 440-775-8671.

Related Resources

pdf
Weltzheimer/Johnson House Accessibility Guide

File size: 434KB

Driving directions from the museum to the entrance for those with limited mobility.

More Info Download
pdf
Teacher Resource Packet

File size: 717KB

Download
pdf
Driving Directions

File size: 255KB

Download

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take photographs during my visit?

Visitors are permitted to take photographs of both the interior and exterior of the building. We encourage guests to post images on social media. More photos of the house are available on the AMAM's Flickr page.

How do I learn more about the house?

The best resource for information about the house is a bulletin publication sold at the house for $12, titled Frank Lloyd Wright at Oberlin: The Story of the Weltzheimer/Johnson House, Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin 49, no. 1 (1995).

Is the house for rent?

The house is not available for use as a rental facility.

Who do I contact if I have other questions about the house?

You can call us at 440-775-8671 or email education.amam@oberlin.edu. There is no onsite facilitator.

Registrant Information

Note: Admission is $10 per adult. Oberlin College students with ID and children under 18 are admitted free of charge. Contact the Education Department to reserve Student/Youth tickets in advance.

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