Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Fred B. Jones House, 1902
Frank Lloyd Wright designed and oversaw 5 homes in the Lake Delavan area. He would “disown” one of the homes because of alterations made to the home that he did not approve of. The five homes at Lake Delavan include the George W. Spencer house (“disowned,”) the Charles S. Ross home, the Henry Wallis summer home, the A. P. Johnson residence and the Fred B. Jones home, also known as “Penwern.” The Fred B. Jones home includes 4 buildings on the property, all of which were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in a period spanning from 1900 to 1903.
It should be noted that these dates are approximate and based off historical estimates on paperwork found in Wright’s studio. With the Fred B. Jones house, there are several dates regarding the commission, construction and completion. This is mostly due to the fact that there are several buildings on the site, all of which were completed at different dates. However, the main house itself was completed in 1902.
Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Fred B. Jones House (Penwern) in Lake Delavan, Wisconsin
Located on South Shore Drive, the Fred B. Jones house contains four buildings: the main residence, constructed in 1902; the boathouse, constructed in 1900 and the gatehouse and the barn. The main house features a bridge, which Wright had previously used successfully in another home in Whitehall, Michigan: the George Gerts Double House Bridge Cottage.
The exterior of Penwern features several examples of Wright’s Japanese influences, including the upturned ends of the gabled roofs. The gatehouse, however, does not feature these same Japanese influences. The main house also features boulders, which Wright had also previously used in the Chauncey Williams house in River Forest, Illinois. Looking at the design, one will also note that there are semi-circular porches that surround the home. Though there are several influences present in the home’s design, it is still very clearly a Prairie-style home.
Inside, the home features three fireplaces and five bedrooms.
The original boathouse, completed in 1901, has since burned down. However, the foundation still exists and an exact replica of the original boathouse has since been rebuilt.
The Fred B. Jones House (Penwern) Today
The Fred B. Jones house has remained a private residence since it’s original completion in 1902. However, it has been open to the public in past Wright architecture tours in the area, it was included in tours in both 2001 and in 2007.
That being said, though the owners have been welcoming and gracious enough to open their homes to the public in the past, it is still their home. Therefore, it is important for visitors to respect the privacy of the current owners and avoid trespassing or disturbing the property.