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Unusual Frank Lloyd Wright schoolhouse turned home is back seeking $750K

Wright’s Avery Coonley Playhouse has new price to go with recent renovations

Photos by Nick Miller/VHT Studios, courtesy of Compass listing agent Mike McCurry

A suburban home that began life in 1912 as a private elementary school designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright is back on the market. Known as the Avery Coonley Playhouse, the historic property recently received additional renovations and returns with a lower asking price.

Located on the grounds of Wright’s larger Avery Coonley House in Riverside, Illinois, the former schoolhouse reflects many of the designer’s trademark concepts such as a projecting slab roof and contrasting horizontal and vertical elements. Wright called the structure a “playhouse” because it has a stage capable of hosting performances.

In 1917, architect William Drummond expanded the structure and converted it into a home. Over the following decades, the playhouse underwent multiple modifications, additions, and—more recently—restorations that are respectful of Wright’s original vision. The reproduction art glass windows with their playful, almost confetti-like designs remain the stand-out feature.

The Avery Coonley Playhouse listed last summer for the first time in almost four decades. It now returns with additional modifications. “The current owners spent the last few months working to make the house more move-in ready,” listing agent Mike McCurry tells Curbed Chicago. “They focused on the bedrooms, family room, and other areas that needed attention.”

The unusual school-turned-home is seeking $750,000, down from its 2018 asking price of $800,000.

The stucco was repaired many times and ultimately replaced. The color matches Wright’s original.
The bright foyer features wood trim and—of course—a framed portrait of Wright himself.
Although the original art glass windows were sold to museums and private collectors, the reproductions are equally stunning.
The family room was one area of the home that was renovated since last year.
The kitchen—a later addition—also received some work.
The master bedroom is bright thanks to sliding glass doors.