Usonia Historic District
Usonia Historic District
|Location||Usonia & Rocky Vale Rds., Laurel Hill & Orchard Brook Drs., Pleasantville, New York|
|Area||95.1 acres (38.5 ha)|
|Architect||Wright, Frank Lloyd, et al.|
|NRHP Reference #||12000600|
|Added to NRHP||September 5, 2012|
Usonia Historic District was a planned community and is now a national historic district located in Town of Mount Pleasant, adjacent to the village of Pleasantville, Westchester County, New York. In 1945, a 100-acre (0.40 km2) rural tract was purchased by a cooperative of young couples from New York City, who were able to enlist Frank Lloyd Wright to build his Broadacre City concept. Wright decided where each house should be placed. Wright designed three homes himself and approved architectural plans of the other 44, which were designed by such architects as Paul Schweikher, Theodore Dixon Bower, Ulrich Franzen, Kaneji Domoto, Aaron Resnick and David Henken – an engineer and Wright apprentice.
The layout of the neighborhood was planned by Wright in a circular manner, preserving most of the original trees and "encouraging the flow of the land". The balance of the homes were decreed to be in the modern "organic" style ordained by Wright. The community was named "Usonia" in homage to Wright, whose ideas on the way Americans should live together guided their plan.
The narrow roads twist and curve, finches perch on windowsills, deer roam and maple trees outnumber people. Sixty percent of the land is forest and meadow. Each house nestles into the landscape, as naturally as the trees and grasses that preceded it, and none are visible from nearby Route 120.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 as the Usonia Historic District. The historic district encompasses 43 contributing buildings, 1 contributing site, and 3 contributing structures.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian homes in Pleasantville:
- "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 9/10/12 through 9/14/12. National Park Service. 2012-09-21.
- "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2015-12-01. Note: This includes Kathleen LaFrank (March 2012). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Usonia Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-01. and Accompanying photographs
- Usonia Community Remembers Its Past, The New York Times
- Wright Find Recalls His Influence On A Community, The New York Times
- Green Before It Had a Name, The New York Times
- Pleasantville has the Wright Stuff, Retro Info!
- Photos on Flickr
- Reisley, Roland (2001). Usonia, New York: Building a Community with Frank Lloyd Wright. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-245-8.
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