frank lloyd wright smith house

School teachers Sara Stein Smith and Melvyn Maxwell Smith, undeterred by their modest salaries and guided by a shared love of architecture, met Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in 1941 and commissioned a custom home. The Smith House in Bloomfield Hills is an excellent example of Wright’s Usonian ideal, which aimed to build quality houses for the American middle class.

Tours offer a unique view of this special home, its landscape, and the story of a couple whose vision and determination allowed them to achieve their dream. All tours meet at the front desk of Cranbrook Art Museum. Reservations are required in advance. 

The Smith House now is owned by a private foundation, which undertook a meticulous restoration of the house in 2010 and 2011, taking care to leave the furnishings and art collection of the original owners completely intact. The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is proud to partner with the foundation to conduct regular guided tours of the house and assist with the interpretation and preservation of the house. 

Smith House Tour Schedule 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017 11:30am to 1:00pm (Photo +) 1:30 to 2:30pm 3:00 to 4:00pm  
Sunday, September 10, 2017 11:30am to 1:00pm (Photo +) 1:30 to 2:30pm 3:00 to 4:00pm  
Saturday, September 23, 2017 11:30am to 1:00pm (Photo +) 1:30 to 2:30pm 3:00 to 4:00pm  
Sunday, October 15, 2017 11:30am to 1:00pm (Photo +) 1:30 to 2:30pm 3:00 to 4:00pm  
Saturday, October 23, 2017 11:30am to 1:00pm (Photo +) 1:30 to 2:30pm 3:00 to 4:00pm   


Spend the day in Bloomfield Hills and plan a visit to the Smith House AND the Frank Lloyd Wright Affleck House, owned and operated by Lawrence Technological University and located just a few minutes away. 

smith house oral history project

As part of the Center for Collections and Research's continued partnership with the owners of Smith House, and our shared goal to preserve its legacy for future generations, an oral history project is currently underway to collect stories and learn more about the Smiths, the house, and its contents from the many people involved in its creation. 

The Center's 2016-2018 Collections Fellow, Kevin Adkisson, is currently conducting videotaped oral histories with artists, builders, and family members that shaped the history of the remarkable home. Excerpts from the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House Oral History Project will be available here on the Center's website later this fall.

Urban Jupena

If you're an artist or associate who knew or worked with the Smiths, please be in touch: Email center@cranbrook.edu or call 248.645.3358. 

 

photo credits

Haefner, James. Interior of Smith House. 2017. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.
Haefner, James. Exterior rear daylight. 2010. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.
Adkisson, Kevin. Artist Urban Jupena in Smith House. June, 2017. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.