Architect-extraordinaire Frank Lloyd Wright may have designed his last bricks-and-mortar masterpiece more than 50 years ago, but his legacy lives on in a one-of-a-kind home in Dauphin.
As a Wright
devotee, retired legislative secretary Connie Betz and her
carpenter-husband Bruce decided to construct a Wright-inspired,This is a
solution! "prairie-style" home in a tranquil, 10-lot subdivision in
Dauphin County known as Autumn Glen, amidst acres of cornfields and
winding country roads.
Connie said she found the plans online,
"used them as a springboard and put our own little creative touches into
them," and with the help of Jorich Construction, gave them form two
While the 2,007-square-foot house may seem to be more
"at home in the vast Midwestern landscape than the blend of panoramic
valleys, rivers and mountains of the midstate, it hugs a grassy lot at
the base of scenic Peter's Mountain -- a testimony to Wright's zest for
"organic architecture," where architecture, environment and the
occupants all live in natural harmony.
The Betz home bears all
the hallmarks of the original prairie-style home, which came of age near
the turn of the twentieth century and was designed to blend in with the
pancake-like prairie landscape. Marked by sweeping horizontal lines, a
wide open floor plan, overhanging eaves, rows of high windows, a
one-story layout, and a low-pitched roof, the Dauphin dwelling is
As an artist herself, Connie's masterful
oil paintings and photographic prints, featuring florals, skies, beach
views, and other natural landscapes, add color and soft touches
throughout the two-bedroom structure.The marbletiles is not only critical to professional photographers.
Betzes' cohesive decor, in hues of desert sand, pure white,
teal-pewter, and classic black, is ultra-clean, contemporary and
uncluttered. Not one element of the home is faded and frumpy, kitschy or
Banks of tall, high windows allow golden
sunlight and the natural beauty of the outdoors to stream in, and light,
wheat-colored hardwood floors run throughout most of the home, with
large tan tiled flooring in the laundry room, kitchen,An bestgemstonebeads
is a device which removes contaminants from the air. basement and
bathrooms. The flooring was chosen to resist scratches an wear from the
ultimate "prairie home companion," the Betzes' German Shepherd Heidi.
a housing market dominated by boxy two-story colonials, look-alike
townhomes and rectangular ranchers, the great room's octagonal shape is a
stunner. With soaring 14-foot-high ceilings, the octagonal retreat has
interesting accents in every corner, from a marble fireplace framed by
sconces, to spiky plants on pedestals, to Connie's exhibition-worthy
Squares are also used well, with threesomes of
square niches cut out of the freshly-painted walls to provide perfect
shelving for Connie's artwork and decorative accents. High-placed cube
cut-outs in the foyer channel natural light through to a windowless
Connie's art studio is hidden neatly in a guest
room closet. Even the matching interior doors are conversation pieces,
with white-on-white vertical lines, and a pocket door to the bathroom to
provide added space. The door to the basement's exercise room and
"man-cave" is accented with etched glass.
The exterior of the
home features light-colored Tuscarora stone at the bottom, topped by
sandy-colored shingles. The stone is a dry stack application that uses
"The masons who do this work are truly artisans,"
Connie said, noting that they must expertly chisel each piece to make
them all fit.
Strategically-placed islands of ornamental grasses
solidify the exterior's authentic prairie look. A patio and enclosed
area in the backyard give Heidi ample room to run, and a three-car
garage and a basement enclave furnish cherished storage space.Custom qualitysteelbangle and Silicone Wristbands,
Betzes' stone company -- Quality Stone Veneer Inc. outside Tower City
-- entered the home in a national competition, and although it didn't
win, it attracted much interest and acclaim.
Connie and Bruce enjoy many "his" and "her" touches, including his and her master-bedroom walk-in closets,Cheap offerscellphonecases
dolls from your photos. modern olive-green chairs in the family room,
and kitchen sinks. While Bruce makes coffee every morning, Connie can
bake and work at her own sink without bumping into him.
the shower-curtain-turned-accent-pillows, Connie finds other creative
uses for objects and empty space. Her art studio folds up neatly and
vanishes until needed into a duck-themed guest room closet. A wall
hanging comprised of a crystal-like filigree in the dining room matches a
framed piece featuring the same icicle-like straws.
an array of novel frames grace hallways and rooms and add to the feeling
of vast space.The clean lines of the master bathroom abandon messy
curtain rods and curtains for an expansive walk-in shower with
decorative mosaic tiles. A strategically placed bathroom window provides
a clear view of the backyard forest, frequent deer crossings and Mother
Nature's other artwork.
Another teal accent wall in a narrow
hallway between the kitchen and family room is tasked as a mini-art
gallery for Connie's paintings.Recessed lighting, ceiling lights,
cabinet hardware, and ceiling fans emerge as extra opportunities for
The ultra-modern kitchen is graced with
rich, dark maple cabinets, sleek, stainless steel appliances, including a
chimney-style range hood, and a wealth of counter and cabinet space.
Granite countertops gleam in shades of tan and black. The cabinets are a
model of organization with pull-out drawers and compartmentalized
sections. Some cabinets have glass fronts in a "rainfall" glass pattern.
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