FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S $10,000 HOME: HISTORY, DESIGN, AND RESTORATION OF THE BACH HOUSE, by Robert J. Hartnett Book Review – Insightful and Thorough

The book Frank Lloyd Wright’s $10,000 Home is much like the Bach House—compact and complete.  The house, designed by Wright in 1915, sits directly on busy Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  This reviewer has driven past hundreds of times and never noticed it nestled among the stretches of bland four story 1920’s apartment buildings.  In 1915, the house had an open view of Lake Michigan, then two blocks away.  $10,000 was what the Bachs paid for the complete design, build and many of the furnishings.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S $10,000 HOME Restored to Its Simple Glory

This is a small house, enlarged by converting porches to rooms over the years, but now restored to its simple glory of walnut woodwork and furniture, open porches, geometric windows lightly patterned with stained glass to enhance privacy without drapes, birch floor, and untinted plaster coves and ceilings with sunshine yellow walls.

BOB Hartnett author picture
Bach House Exterior retouched

Hartnett’s book takes you on the house’s journey from original design as a home for the Bach family who lived there for nineteen years, through ten owners, culminating in the purchase by TAWANI Enterprises in 2010, owned by Jennifer N. Pritzker.

Examples of Remuddling, Remodeling and Restoration in FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S $10,000 HOME

Through this journey, Hartnett touches upon many aspects of Wright’s evolving designs.  He places the Bach house in 1915 at the end of Wright’s Prairie designs and beginning of his manufactured projects.  Hartnett describes the architectural elements in layman’s terms, with illustrating photos of the original house,  other Wright houses, and the restored house.  Both landscaping and hardscaping are described, as Wright believed that the structure should arise from its surroundings and remain joined with it.  There are not the grand embellishments of Wright’s earlier prairie homes.  The feeling is calm, simple, grounded, reflecting the Bach’s style and financial means.  Much as the Wright-designed Dana-Thomas house in Springfield, IL reflects its owner unlimited budget.

About Robert J. Hartnett, Author of FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S $10,000 HOME

Bob Hartnett has had been interested in Frank Lloyd Wright's work for many years. He is a volunteer with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and leads tours in Chicago, Oak Park and Wisconsin.  His research for this book began for a magazine article and mushroomed into a longer story that needed to be shared with others.  Hartnett sees his work as a tour guide an opportunity to engage, entertain and inform visitors.  That is the same spirit he brings to this book.

Bach House Sideview
Bach house map
Theodore Bach
Anna Bach Reading Photo By Fireplace
Bach Wedding
Uniform contract bach

In addition to visiting the Bach House, you can stay overnight or longer.  The Lang House next door is also a bed and breakfast owned by TAWANI Enterprises.  This writer can’t help but imagine what an unforgettable environment for a family or friend reunion that would be.

Highly Recommended for fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago history, and visitors to the Bach House.

Price $24.95
Published by Master Wings Publishing, 2019
For more information, visit The Bach House website.
Available on Amazon

Photos courtesy of TAWANI Enterprises

Ann Boland
Portrait by Paul Sierra

Reviewer Ann Boland is committed to Chicago theater. Involved in the audience since the early 80’s, she’s witnessed firsthand the rise of our theater scene, our exceptional local talent, and the vigor of each new generation.  Ann handles public relations for authors and works on programs to help seniors with neurological movement disorders.  Please visit her website for more information.  


Click here to read more Picture this Post reviews by Ann Boland.

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