Wright-designed homes a challenge for sellers

Home moved to Beaver Dam is for sale

Published On: Sep 13 2013 10:43:50 AM CDT
Elizabeth Boode
MADISON, Wis. -

A Beaver Dam home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is up for sale after an unsuccessful attempt a couple years ago.

Its owner said her realtor will list it at $625,000.

The home, currently known as the Arnold Jackson Bed and Breakfast, was initially built in Madison and dubbed Skyview.

In 1985, it was purchased for $1 and moved to Beaver Dam.

It's a one-story home, surrounded by a couple acres of grass and trees.
Elizabeth said and her late husband purchased the Wright-designed home 13 years ago.

Wright's touch can be seen in the fireplace, windows and red tile with his signature.

"The floor underneath was a Cherokee red tile. It was coming up. It was not in good shape at all," said Boode.

The Boodes tackled one room at a time. They replaced dated plumbing and kitchen cabinets, spruced up the wood and added carpeting. However, after more than a decade of maintaining the home, Boode said it's time for her to move on.

"I know it's way too much work. I'm 76 years old. I cannot care for the outside, the inside anymore," said Boode.

A few years ago, Boode listed the home at $800,000 without the help of a realtor. She had a few bites, but none of them worked out. One interested buyer wanted to dismantle the home and rebuild it in Canada.

"I was going to find the right buyer," said Boode.

Historian consultant Jack Holzhueter said Wright homeowners consider their home a work of art and mistakenly try to list them with higher prices.

"You begin with average price of house in the neighborhood then you can add 10 to 30 percent and that's all," said Holzhueter.

In Columbus, Mary Arnold lives in a home Wright designed for her parents. It has its quirks.

"If you open the closet door in our bedroom and someone opens the door to get into the bedroom the doors bang into each other," said Arnold.

Similar to Boode, Arnold put in expensive updates including a new roof and insulation. However, she would not think about leaving the house.

"Living in any house is a maintenance challenge. You might have more maintenance challenges in a Wright house than you do an average house," said Holzhueter.

For Boode, all the work she and her husband put in was worth the memories of guests and good times, but it's just time for a new adventure.

"I love it here. I really do. It's going to be hard to leave here," said Boode.