We had the pleasure of participating in
renovation of a Frank Lloyd Wright
As written in
The Delavan Enterprise – Thursday March
Work is being done on the Frank
Lloyd Wright–built boathouse on the South Shore side of Delavan Lake.
The photograph, taken from the frozen lake, provides a perspective of
the boathouse relative to the main Penwern House.
In spite of winter, a Frank Lloyd
Wright work rises again by lake...
In spite of harsh winter weather, there’s been much progress on the
reconstruction of the only Frank Lloyd boathouse ever constructed. It
was originally built over 100 years ago on Delavan Lake for Fred B.
Jones, as part of his Penwern estate.
Workmen are prepping the foundation for
the exterior walls and floor. Penwern’s present owners, Susan and John
Major are using as much of Wright’s original structure as possible in
the reconstruction efforts. Sections of rock walls and foundation remain
from the fire that destroyed the structure in the 1970s. The famous
architect’s original plans and drawings have guided the reconstruction
The historically significant boathouse at Penwern was destroyed by arson
in September 1978. It is one of only three Wright structures “designed
with undisguised Japanese details” (primarily in the rooflines), as
described in the application to both the Wisconsin Register of Historic
places and the National Register of Historic Places submitted in
September 1974. The Fred B. Jones/Penwern estate was put on both
registries in December 1974.
Reconstruction of the boathouse began
in September 2004 as the final piece in the restoration of the entire
property by the Majors. The boathouse is expected to be completed by
fall of 2005. Purchased in 1994, Penwern’s main house and gatehouse are
both fully restored using the original architectural plans; its stable
house is partially restored. The Restoration Architect for the project was Brian A. Spencer,
The Fred B. Jones house, known as Penwern, is one of five Frank Lloyd
Wright homes built on the South Shore of Delavan Lake in the early 20th
century. Penwern was constructed between 1901 and 1903 on land, which
Jones purchased from Thomas Lackey and Henry Wallis, two prominent
developers in the area.