Tucked away in a small wooded area in the Winchell neighborhood, and alongside Asylum Lake in Kalamazoo, sits Parkwyn Village – a community that features a beautiful variety of homes designed by local architects, Norman Carver Jr. and George Sprau. Parkwyn is also the home of several houses designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright.
Hosted by Gazelle Sports, a tour guide lead over 200 people through the Parkwyn neighborhood, and as we visited each of the four homes, our tour guide shared with us, a few interesting tidbits about this famous architect and this quirky little neighborhood. Following are four random things I learned along the way…
- The name, Parkwyn comes from Parkview and Winchell – the two main streets that run adjacent to the neighborhood. Someone must have thought that changing the i to a y would give the new name sophistication.
- Frank was an a** hole. Yep, more than one homeowner shared a story of Frank’s diva-like antics. Apparently greatness doesn’t like to be questioned – like if a purchased door is not the one he selected.
- Frank had no use for kitchens. Not only did he delegate very little floor space to the kitchen, he fired one set of Parkwyn homeowners when they insisted on adding a window to his kitchen plan.
- All Frank Lloyd Wright Homes at Parkwyn are designed with the emphasis in the back. Frank’s belief was that the home should embrace nature, so many of his homes are designed with the bedrooms all having a view of the backyard. The beauty of a Frank Lloyd Home is the view looking out.
Heidi McCrary, Author