design history travel

Fantastic Frank Lloyd Wright

On a recent trip to Greenville, South Carolina, members of the ASID Carolinas Chapter had the rare privilege of visiting a privately held Frank Lloyd Wright residence.   Designed in 1951 and completed in 1954, the house is a striking example of Wright’s natural or “Usonian” style.  Commissioned by two sisters, Gabrielle and Charlcy Austin, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


Wright named the property, Broad Margin,  which comes from Thoreau’s Walden in which he states, “I love a broad margin to my life.”  The house is built into the slope of a two acre heavily wooded lot bound by two creeks.  Wright positioned the house so that it would not be visible from the street.  Featuring 12 inch thick concrete walls, a massive roof line, broad overhangs and corner windows, all of which are classic Frank Lloyd Wright architectural elements.

Broad Margin Greenville South Carolina

Cypress wood paneling was used extensively throughout including on the ceiling.

Broad Margin Window Detail

The house has polished Cherokee Red concrete floors with copper tubes, carrying hot water, embedded in the floors to heat the house.  Original built in seating are featured in the sitting area.


The kitchen was updated a few years ago, due to a fire, combining Wright’s aesthetic with modern conveniences.

Broad Margin Kitchen

A massive stone and concrete fireplace dominates the sitting area

Gabrielle and Charlcey Austin House, Broad Margin, Greenville, South Carolina, 1951. Fireplace in living area.

In the dining area, a copy of the original dining table, is on display

Frank Lloyd Wright Greenville

Sleeping and bathing areas are compact

Broad Margin Bedroom

Frank Lloyd Wright South Carolina

This house exemplifies Wright’s appreciation for natural materials, his penchant for open floor plans and his awareness of the natural surroundings.  Blurring the lines between interior and exterior spaces, Broad Margin is a case study for Wright’s declaration that “Shelter should be the essential look of any dwelling.”   Mr. H could not agree more-Enjoy!

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