Magnificent Penwern

"Penwern," Frank Lloyd Wright's Fred B. Jones House (1900) is framed through the entrance to the boathouse on Delavan Lake. (c) Mark Hertzberg

“Penwern,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fred B. Jones House (1900) is framed through the entrance to the boathouse on Delavan Lake. (c) Mark Hertzberg

Sue and John Major, stewards of Penwern, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fred B. Jones summer cottage, boathouse, gate lodge, and stable (1900-1903), are pleased to announce the launch of a website for the estate. The url is www.penwern.com

The Majors have commissioned me to write a book for them about Jones and Penwern. It is an exciting challenge because we have been unable to find any extant letters between Messrs. Jones, Wright, and/or Henry Wallis, who was the developer who apparently led Jones and three other Chicago-based Delavan Lake clients to Mr. Wright.

I was also asked by At the Lake magazine to write about Mr. Wright’s work on Delavan Lake. The article was published this week. There is a link to it on the website. The article is footnoted, because I want to verify every assertion about Penwern, rather than just accept what has been written about it before. I have found a number of misconceptions about Penwern, including the the idea that Penwern means “great house” in Gaelic. It is Welsh or Cornish, and does not mean “great house” (you’ll have to read the article and footnotes to learn more!).

As I invite you to go to the new website, which has a rich gallery of historic and contemporary photos of the estate, I leave you with a photo of Mr. Jones and Dora Mortimer, a friend or his housekeeper (another mystery we are trying to unravel!) on their around the world trip in 1924.

Pyramids

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One thought on “Magnificent Penwern

  1. Your link to the website doesn’t work for some reason but I typed the address in myself and got to it. Enjoyed your wonderful photos of this truly one of it’s kind Wright design. I was able to wander the grounds last May and was delighted to see the reconstructed boathouse for the first time. I’ll look forward to your book!

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