Crosby Addition

Revisiting the Crosby's House

It is always fun to revisit a project after many years. Usually we are called in when a new owner buys one of our houses and wants to make it their own. This fall we are revisiting the Crosby's house for the original owners. The house was built as a weekend retreat and over the years the Crosbys decided it should be their full time residence. This prompted them to call us to add a true master's suite, enlarge the mud room and add a larger laundry room.

The Crosby's bought the vacant lot next door so the new master suite expands to the east. The existing master bedroom becomes a new den; while the existing master bath and closet becomes a bath for the pool and the laundry. The former laundry becomes a pantry and a mud room is added onto the western side between the house and garage.

Crosby Addition

Here is a link to the original house.


Broad Margins by Frank Lloyd Wright

Broad Margin by Frank Lloyd Wright

Several years ago, we had the delightful pleasure of visiting, Broad Margin, the only other project designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in South Carolina (besides Auldbrass in Beaufort County). We were entertained by the original contractor and viewed the complete set of working drawings for the house and furniture, all six pages of them!

The 1727 square foot, three bedroom, two and one half bath, Wright designed Broad Margin in 1951 for sisters, the Misses Gabrielle and Charlcey Austin. Wright named the house Broad Margin after the passage, “I love a broad margin to my life.” from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.   In 1978, the house was listed on the National Registered of Historic Places.

Usonian House

Broad Margin is an Usonian House, a term coined by Wright to describe his small affordable houses that were typically single story, built on a concrete slab, of native materials with large overhangs. He was particularly sensitive to building the house to fit into the landscape.

Broad Margin house

Siting

The siting of the Broad Margin is quintessential Wright. The downtown Greenville site is heavily wooded and bordered by two creeks; you feel like you are miles from civilization. The approach to the house is from above and your first view is of the large low sloped roof. The modest entrance is through the carport into a narrow hall that functions as a spine to the building. All the rooms open out to the view and a series of decks that step down the hillside.

The house is constructed of stone, poured in place concrete, Lowcountry cypress and glass. The great room has a magnificent sunken stone fireplace as the focal point. The kitchen is the only room without a view but it has an eighteen foot ceiling culminating in a skylight. The floor is Wright’s signature red poured in place concrete with radiant heating.

The current owner has lovingly restored the house and had the dining room table rebuilt to Wright’s specifications, a previous owner sold the dining room furniture. Most of the other original furniture designed by Wright is still in place.

Frank LLoyd Wright Broad Margin