American Architecture: The Usonian Home

The average American knows little about the origins of the architecture that surrounds them on a day-to-day basis. Yet one name that most Americans have heard is that of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most celebrated architects in American history.

Wright was known for the style of organic architecture, which attempted to find a sense of harmony between human dwellings and the nature that surrounded them. Wright designed the Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania, built atop a waterfall and surrounded by natural growth.

In New York, Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum over a period of sixteen years. This and many other works have solidified Wright as an architect of great repute who built large and illustrious structures. However, Wright had other pursuits that he would devote much of his time to.

Coming out of the Great Depression, there was a need in America for an affordable single-family home. When approached to design such a home in 1936, Wright jumped at the opportunity.

The style of Wright’s houses reflected a vision he held for the future of American neighborhoods, something he would call “Usonian” architecture.

Elements of Usonia

At its core, Usonian architecture was meant to be affordable, mass-produced, and in harmony with its surrounding natural elements. What many of us know to be “mid-century modern” architecture and “ranch” homes are both heavily influenced by Wright’s Usonian vision.

Wright’s designs were of small, single-story homes with a carport. There were no attics and no basements. Homes were designed with little ornamentation and had open floor plans. This openness, combined with large windows and natural lighting, gives Usonian homes a sense of spaciousness that even today’s large suburban homes can’t match.

Community planning

The Usonian homes themselves were only part of Wright’s grand scheme. Ultimately, Wright’s vision for America (or “Usonia” as he thought it ought to be called), was one of the suburbs. Small, modular homes that coexist with their habitats on plots of land that were crossing into one another, rather than today’s square plots, were what Wright hoped the future would hold.

Late in life, Wright had begun work on such a neighborhood. In New York, just 30 miles north of Manhattan lies the town of Mount Pleasant. The neighborhood became known as Usonian Historic District and to this day is occupied by homes designed by Wright and his apprentices. In all, 43 buildings make up the district.

Wright’s continuing legacy in American home architecture

Though Wright’s vision for America has never been fully realized, much of his ideas are alive and well. The ranch home drew elements from Wright’s style, and ranch houses are now ubiquitous across the country.

With growing land costs and a culture shifting towards minimalism, many people today are opting to live in smaller dwellings. The “tiny house” movement has gained traction in the United States. In some places, neighborhoods of tiny houses are putting down roots and forming small communities centered on having a minimal environmental impact. Frank Lloyd Wright would likely see this as a net gain, though he might have a few pointers for the architects of today’s modular homes.

How to Share Details About Your Home Listing

You’ve officially added your home to the real estate market; now, you just need to generate interest among family members, friends and others who may consider purchasing your house.

Fortunately, there are many great ways to share an online home listing with others, including:

1. Facebook

As soon as your home listing becomes available online, feel free to share it via Facebook, a leading social network among men and women of all ages.

Sharing a link to your home listing via Facebook enables you to provide information about your residence to friends and family members instantly. Plus, Facebook enables your friends and family members to share your post with others, further increasing your reach.

Don’t be afraid to include high-resolution photos with your Facebook posts, too. This will improve your chances that your Facebook posts will be noticed, and ultimately, could help you garner attention from prospective homebuyers.

Also, each Facebook post should consist of one to two sentences. Ensure that each Facebook post is easy to understand and encourages readers to click on the link to view your home listing, and you may find that a large variety of homebuyers could become interested in your residence.

2. Twitter

With only 140 characters at your disposal, sharing information about your house via Twitter may seem nearly impossible. However, those who understand what it takes to put together a great tweet could generate significant interest in their homes by using this social media platform.

Typically, a great Twitter post should include a brief description that explains your home is now available. You also may want to highlight one feature of your home (like the style of your house, where it is located or the number of bedrooms it offers) and include a call to action that encourages readers to click on the link to view your home listing.

Like a Facebook post, you will want to incorporate a high-resolution image into your tweet as well. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a first-rate picture of your home’s exterior may encourage dozens of interested homebuyers to evaluate your home listing.

3. Email

Have friends and family members who shy away from social media? No worries, as you can send them a link to your online home listing any time you choose.

If you send an email to a friend or family member, be sure to include a clear, concise subject line. This will allow you to minimize the risk that your message could wind up in a recipient’s junk email folder.

Furthermore, be sure to include your real estate agent’s contact information in your email. Because if a homebuyer knows how to reach your real estate agent, he or she can contact this real estate professional to set up a home showing immediately.

An online home listing increases your house’s visibility. And if you share your online home listing with others, you may be able to increase interest in your home accelerate the home selling process.