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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright house sells for more than $1 million in Ogden Dunes

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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright house sells for more than $1 million in Ogden Dunes

Frank Lloyd Wright's Armstrong House in Ogden Dunes sold for more than $1 million.

A historic Ogden Dunes home designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright sold this spring for more than $1 million.

Coming Sunday, ride along with Specialist Dyer as he patrols LaPorte.

A new owner acquired the Armstrong House, sometimes known as the Armstrong Dune House, that was built at 43 Cedar Trail in the lakefront town of Ogden Dunes in 1939. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the pioneer of the Prairie School and Usonian styles of architecture who's been heralded as the greatest American architect of all time by the American Institute of Architects.

Oak Park, Illinois resident Brian Bobek bought the home for $1.02 million in April, according to Porter County property records.

Go on patrol with Aaron Crawford, a Cpl. with the Lowell Police Department, as he speaks about joining the force, DUI enforcement grants, and police Jiu-jitsu training.

The 3,696-square-foot home is nestled on landscaped, wooded lots on a sloping sand dune. It stands two stories tall with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a retro carport. The brick home has two brick fireplaces, a sauna, a large recreational room, lots of natural lighting and a screened-in porch that showcases the surrounding wooded environment. 

"This special home has been carefully maintained," the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy said. "Original Wright features include classics like board and batten woodwork, built-in bookshelves, and clerestory windows."

One of about 1,000 buildings Wright designed, the Usonian home was on the market for months and ended up selling for less than the initial asking price of $1.2 million. The house that was marketed as a "one-of-a-kind masterpiece" and "not only a home but a work of art" was sold as is.

The house was built for the family of Andrew Armstrong, an advertising director in Chicago. It was the first home Wright designed in the Chicago metro area since the 1920s, according to the Ogden Dunes Historical Society. It featured an organic design tailored to the sloping site, a multi-level layout with a hidden entrance tucked away behind the carport, and the obtuse angles Wright was known for.

The world-renowned architect, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and whose Fallingwater is widely considered one of the greatest buildings ever designed, visited the home's construction site in Ogden Dunes in 1940 and was pleased with the topography of the land, according to the Ogden Dunes Sandpiper newsletter.

The original owners sold the house to an assistant superintendent of a local steel mill in 1942 and it continued to change hands several times over the years. It was expanded in the 1960s and 1970s with the addition of a bedroom wing and added space in the kitchen and dining room. A screened porch overlooking the rear dune also was added.

It's one of just two Frank Lloyd Wright homes left standing in Northwest Indiana. The Wisconsin native also designed the Ingwald Moe House for a successful contractor at 669 Van Buren in Gary in 1909 and  the Wilbur Wynant House at 600 Fillmore St. in Gary. The Wilbur Wynant House suffered heavy damage during a fire and was torn down in 2006.
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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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