A home designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright will go on the market next month for the first time.
Priced at $850,000, the 1,400-square-foot home has the living space of a big apartment.
The house has been in the family of Toufic H. Kalil since it was built in the mid-1950s. It is located in the North End, just down Heather Street from the Wright-designed Zimmerman House, which is owned by the Currier Museum of Art.
The two houses are the only Wright-designed homes in New Hampshire; the next closest is in Connecticut, said Paula Martin, the Keller Williams Realtor marketing the property.
“If you love architecture, if you love art, if you love mid-century modern design, it’s going to make your pulse race when you see this house,” Martin said Wednesday.
On Wednesday, a website devoted to the house — unionleader.com/kalilhouse — went live. The house officially goes up for sale on Oct. 9.
The Kalil house is one of only seven built according to Wright’s Usonian Automatic design. Its exterior is made of colored concrete blocks that Wright expected the owner would pour himself.
According to the real estate listing, “Wright derived the name Usonian from United States of America to denote a national style. His intention was to design houses moderate in cost for the streamlined lifestyle of post-war Americans.”
The exposed blocks make up about a quarter of the interior walls. Other walls are paneled in rich Philippine mahogany or set with book-sized window panes.
Many of the original features — furniture, including stiff but comfortable cushions, a counter-top charcoal grill with fan, and a high-fidelity, vacuum-tube radio — remain with the house and are part of the sale.
Its style reflects the Zimmerman house, which is open for tours through the Currier Museum: large living room, high ceilings, small kitchens and bedrooms that make efficient use of space.
“It’s peaceful, it’s tranquil,” said Bedford resident Stephen Kalil, the original owners’ nephew and executor of the estate that controls the house. “The massive concrete is balanced by the wood and the outside. You don’t really look at the outside, but you can see the outside.”
The house was built by Toufic and Mildred Kalil. A Lebanese immigrant, Toufic was a family doctor who went on to found Elliot Hospital’s radiology department, his nephew said. He died in 1990, and the house went to a brother John, an engineer who had worked for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
John Kalil, who never married and had no children, died in February 2018, his nephew said.
The house sits on a three-quarter acre lot which has mature white pines, oaks and other trees. Located at 117 Heather St., the property is assessed at $258,000 for tax purposes. The online real estate site Zillow estimates it at $311,000.
But beyond the home’s provenance, Martin said those values don’t take into account the preservation and upkeep of the house.
Stephen Kalil said he visited his aunt and uncle at the house a couple of times a year. They were friends with Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman, who contracted with Wright to design their house. The Kalils folowed suit, providing Wright with a plot layout, their desires and a budget.
Kalil said he remembers visiting both houses as a child. The Currier Museum of Art now owns the Zimmerman house, which is open to tours.
Kalil said he approached the Currier about purchasing the property, and museum Director Alan Chong viewed the house. But the museum couldn’t acquire it without an endowment, he said. Efforts to contact Chong on Wednesday were unsuccessful.