The Meyer May Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the home for local Grand Rapids man, Meyer May in the early 1900s. Today, the home stands as an example of the famous vision that Wright had.
Frank Lloyd Wright is perhaps one of the most famous architects of American history. His homes can be found not only all across the United States, but in several countries around the world. A heavy concentration of his work can be found in the midwest. The Meyer May home is another representation of his famous Prairie style and stands as a tribute to Wright’s famous vision.
History of the Meyer May Home
In 1908, Meyer May, a wealthy local of Grand Rapids, Michigan; commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for himself, his wife Sophie, and their two children.
Unlike many of the other homes in the area, the Meyer May home was designed in a Prairie style. The rest of the neighborhood, now known as the Heritage Hill district, were constructed and decorated in Victorian era designs and styles.
Eventually, the children grew up and the May family moved on and the home was sold. Over the next few decades, the home would receive new tenants, a new addition, and finally it would fall into disrepair.
In the 1980s, the home was purchased by a local business, Steelcase Incorporated. After several years of extensive research and renovations, the Meyer May home was returned to it’s original state. In 1987, the home officially opened to the public for viewing. During this time, the home was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Characteristics of the Meyer May Home
While many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs share similar features, each home was still an original design all it’s own. The exterior of the Meyer May home reflected typical Prairie style designs with a wide and low horizontal roof. Construction consisted of brick with red terra-cotta tile roofing.
The interior of the Meyer May home gives off a warm and inviting feeling. The living room faces South to allow for maximum light exposure. It also features a fireplace, several built-in benches as well as custom furniture specifically built for the Meyer May home. Large windows were used in addition to skylights and various stained glass windows.
Visiting the Meyer May Home
The Meyer May home is located at 450 Madison Avenue in Grand Rapids. The area today is now known as the Heritage Hill district. The home is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and admission is always free. Groups of 10 should call in advance for information on reservations. Contact number for the Meyer May home is (616) 246-4821. The house is closed on national holidays.