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Frank Lloyd Wright Home in West Lafayette Wins National Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – Samara, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed John and Catherine Christian House in West Lafayette, won a 2023 Modernism in America Award for its year-long, $2 million restoration.

Now in its 10th year, the Docomomo’s Modernism in America Awards showcase projects that represent the best of modern preservation, documentation and advocacy work. The jury is comprised of renowned scholars, architects, landscape architects and educators. In its commendation, the jury called the rehabilitation of Samara “meticulous” and said it, “exemplifies a deep commitment to architectural heritage.”

The restoration addressed structural and mechanical issues, refreshed finishes, and ensured that visitors could once again enjoy all areas of the home during public tours. Funding for the work came from private donors, the John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc., and a $500,000 Save America’s Treasures Grant from the National Park Service.

Spearheaded by Harboe Architects of Chicago and Indianapolis-based Brandt Construction, the restoration ensures that the home built in 1956 will serve as a learning laboratory for the work of Frank Lloyd Wright for generations to come.

“On behalf of the entire restoration team, we’re honored to receive this recognition, and eager to share this remarkable property with visitors from around the world,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks, which co-stewards Samara with the John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc.

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Tours are offered on a regular basis, and tickets must be purchased in advance at samara-house.org. Samara is one of seven Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in Indiana and the only one open for ongoing public tours.

Samara is one of the most complete Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in the United States. In the early 1950s, Purdue University professor Dr. John Christian and his wife Catherine dreamed of a home that would serve both their desire to entertain friends, staff, and students while being a structure that would grow with their family. Research, perseverance, and a touch of luck led the Christians to Frank Lloyd Wright. In turn, Wright and his associates worked with the Christians to realize the architect’s vision in every aspect of their new home. Everything, from landscaping, furniture, accessories, and linens, bears the architect’s imprint. Today, the home affords visitors from across the world the rare and immersive opportunity to experience one of the architect’s finest designs.

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