Living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house: What It’s Really Like

For the first time ever, the R. W. Lindholm house in Cloquet, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is on the open market for $975,000. Since it was completed in 1955, the red cypress T-shaped house with board-and-batten partitions has been in the Lindholm family. Current owners Peter and Julene McKinney answered a few questions about their house, its history, and what it’s really like living in a FLW. 

Photos by John Clouse 

How did you come to own the R. W. Lindholm house?
Peter is the grandson of the Lindholm’s and purchased the home from them in the early 80’s. The Lindholm House was completed in 1955. The Lindholm’s were encouraged by their daughter, Joyce Lindholm McKinney (Peter’s mother), to consider having Mr. Wright design a home for them. Joyce had attended the University of Minnesota where she studied Frank Lloyd Wright in an architecture class. Joyce and her parents met with Mr. Wright at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Mr. Wright agreed to design the home for them. 

Why have you decided to sell the house?
Over the years, the City has grown outward and closer to the home. Although the home sits on several acres of wooded land and is bordered on one side by a city park, the setting has changed. 

What do you like most about your home?

The openness to the outdoors while still maintaining a peaceful, warm, environment within. The many angles and varied ceiling heights and overhangs make the inside space seem open and inviting. Wright’s use of low ceilings to entice and direct traffic away from doors and hallways is visible throughout the home. Our favorite time of year living in the house is winter. There is nothing more beautiful than looking out the living room windows during an evening snow storm with floodlit woods illuminating the snow. The warm heated floors and wall of glass make an amazing theater to watch nature at work.

What is it like owning a FLW home?
It is a very special experience that we will always cherish. Living in a historic home such as ours has given us an opportunity to meet and get to know some wonderful people. Through the years, we have tried to maintain the home’s original integrity wherever possible.

Do you feel like you are living in a museum? Are you constantly giving tours?
Yes and no. There are drawbacks to living in a home of interest but you do get used to this. We have received many requests through the years to see our home. In general we do not give tours but will sometimes do so for special requests of friends and family or limited special events. This is our home and maintaining our privacy is important to us.

Do you commune with other FLW homeowners?
We have had limited contact with other owners over the years. We have supported the FLW Conservancy and Foundation for many years and have often used their resources and expertise when remodeling and renovating the home. 

 Photos by John Clouse