Glen Ridge, NJ 1941
Invisible from the street and tucked into a wooded, gated half-acre plot amidst flower gardens that have also been featured in the Times, this 1,800-square-foot home feels like a retreat, complete with a stream and pond alongside its landscaped entry path as well as a heated, in-ground swimming pool sparkling in its verdant backyard. This is a true sanctuary, offering the quiet privacy of the country as well as easy access to New York City. The 3BR, 2-bath home is located in leafy, historic Glen Ridge, just a few minutes from hip, lively Montclair’s great restaurants, abundant cultural amenities, and top-rated public schools.
Built in 1951, the Stuart Richardson House has appeared in numerous articles and books; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Houses praised its “beautiful millwork”—as seen in its handsome cypress-plank walls— and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion singled it out as perhaps the earliest example of the architect’s experiments with hexagonal floor patterns. Other showcase design elements include a dramatic cantilevered entryway into a spacious screened-in porch; an atrium with a window wall that opens onto a bricked-in side garden; a cozy, bookshelf-lined study; skylights throughout; a master bedroom with a commanding fireplace; and built-in desks, dressers, tables, and cabinets that are original to the home. The hexagonal rooms are warmly illuminated by the distinctive triangular recessed lights that the architect also used in the Guggenheim Museum.
The home’s piece de resistance is a triangular living room with dramatically illuminated clerestory windows and a jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind inverted-pyramid ceiling. The room’s 14 French doors allow sunlight to pour in, and swing open onto a patio, a brick-walled terrace, and the spacious backyard. The room’s centerpiece, a triangular wood-burning fireplace, has been called “a marvel of Mr. Wright’s creativity” by the New York Times. Separating the living space from the angular galley kitchen is a built-in dining table surrounded by eye-catching chairs that Wright designed specifically for the house. The home’s heated, red-concrete floors have large hexagons etched into them throughout. The rooms are formed entirely by 60- and 120-degree angles, with no right angles in sight.
The Stuart Richardson House was first designed in 1941; letters show that the original owners, an actuary and his wife, personally consulted Wright while he was in New York City to work on the Guggenheim. The home has been meticulously maintained and lovingly restored over the years, complete with a new roof, radiant heating system, hexagonal walk-in shower in the master bathroom, and a skylit kitchen. In 2010, it won a Wright Spirit Award from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy for outstanding stewardship of a private building.
For more information:savewright.org/news/richardson-house-a-tale-of-three-families