Stay in one of the master architect's last homes before it goes back up for sale.
There are dozens of Frank Lloyd Wright houses across the country that fans of the architect can visit. There are a handful that can be rented. There is only one where you can sleep overnight for $148, which includes a personal guided tour by the 90-year-old owner and breakfast in a Wright-designed “great room.”
The Cooke House in Virginia Beach, Va., built in 1959, is one of Wright’s last commissioned works. It’s a hemicycle-shaped dwelling made of brick with a vast windowed living area overlooking a lake.
For more than three decades, the house has been owned by Daniel Duhl, a retired textile engineer, and his wife, Jane, 80, a former university professor. The couple were married on the property in 1984, and they initially spent many thousands of dollars restoring and updating the 3,000-square-foot house.
A few years ago, after trying to sell it without success, the couple realized the home needed a second, freshening restoration. To fund it, they listed the architectural masterwork on Airbnb.
“Many times we gave a tour to someone and invariably they would say, ‘Can I rent this?’” Duhl says. “There was no way to do that. Then we heard about Airbnb from our kids.”
Guests stay in the former servant’s quarters, which is connected to the main house but separated by a garage. Lest prospective visitors feel shunted off, Duhl maintained the space is “very attractive,” with a design that’s “easily recognized as Frank Lloyd Wright.”
Anyone interested in booking the Cooke House might want to do so soon. The couple plan to put it back on the market.
“It was wonderful living here,” Duhl says. “But I’m 90. We’re ready to do something else.”