frank lloyd wright's 'pappas house' goes on sale, made entirely from concrete blocks

frank lloyd wright's 'pappas house' goes on sale, made entirely from concrete blocks

a rare house made entirely from concrete blocks and designed by one of america’s most prolific and renowned architects is on sale. the ‘theodore and bette pappas house’, designed by frank lloyd wright in 1955, is on the market for $1.2 million.

images courtesy of frank lloyd wright foundation



located in the suburbs of st. louis, missouri, the house features frank lloyd wright‘s usonian style, the architects idea for a simple but stylish small house designed especially for the american middle class. usonian automatics took this one step further, a system wright designed with the intention of making it easy enough for people to build their own homes.



the sytem used different types of inexpensive concrete blocks, which could be laid up without mortar. instead 3 reinforcing bars placed both horizontally and vertically in semicircular voids in the contacting faces supported the structure. after one or two courses of blocks were laid, grout would be pumped or poured into the voids to embed the bars and bond the structure together.



the 2,310 square-foot home is set upon 3.36 acres in a secluded property, and features four bedrooms and two bathrooms. as typical of most usonian homes, the living room has higher ceilings than the bedrooms. the living room also opens to an outdoor terrace.


it took wright four years to design theodore and bette pappas house and construction began in 1960. whilst craftsman made the terra-cotta-tinted concrete blocks and day laborers assisted, the pappas did most of the work themselves. by 1964, the house was completed at a cost four times as much as the original budget.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,173 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample