Harper House: St. Joseph, Michigan
New Photos of the Harper House
View of the Harper House from across the street.
There's a lot to be said for having a room with a view. Dr. Ina Morris Harper has an entire house with a view. This home, built in 1950, is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in the town of St. Joseph.
According to Storrer, Mrs. Harper read an article by Loren Pope (of Pope/Leighey House fame) and was fascinated by Wright's work. Wright was contacted and a home was designed that was quite a bit larger than the Harpers had originally envisioned. The Harpers only lived in the home for two years after it was built.
The most noticeable feature of this home are the living room windows. This lets the occupants enjoy the view of the lake and lets the sunshine in even in the cold of winter. The sides of the living room that face the neighbors are protected by walls that enclose the terrace.
The rest of the home seems quite low in comparison to the living room. I imagine that adds to the privacy a bit too. Again according to Storrer, the home has gone through some changes in the years since the Harpers lived there. The carport has been closed in, a garage has been added, and most of the interior furniture has been removed from the home.
In February of 2004, I received an e-mail from the current owners of the Harper House. They had seen the photos and were kind enough to get in touch with me and tell me about their experience with the home. They've lived in the home for the last 7 years and have had to do significant work on the home to bring it back to be true to its design.
As with many Wright homes, there was a lot of work to be done beyond just redecorating. They commented that for the first many years that there always seemed to be something that needed fixing. The home is finally getting to the point where they're happy with it and able to live in it more than work on it.
Many thanks to Gina and Art for e-mailing me and sharing their experiences with me.
After corresponding some more with the owners of the Harper House, we visited them on our trip through Michigan in early March, 2004. Here are the photos that I got of our visit.
Daylight shot in the Winter. This gives you an idea of what the view is like. You can see the lake in the distance
Living room windows give you a great view, but the wall and hedge give you a little privacy.
Telescope gives you a great chance to look out onto Lake Michigan
Dining area of the living space
Looking at the living room and entry nook from the living room windows
The entry nook looks like a great place to relax and read
Fireplace, entry and reading nook
View from the front door
View towards the front door
Using the mirrors as Wright intended
Different view with the mirrors
Even another mirror view
The gas fireplace gave off really good heat and looked good too
Hallway to bedrooms
Master Bedroom view
Looking up at a nice lamp and the outdoor planter overhang
Master bedroom view
Hall to new wing of the house.
Small bedroom view. notice the mitered glass.
The other small bedroom in the new wing
Office and family room in the new wing.
View of the bedroom planter overhang
Hallway coming back from the new wing of the home
Worm's eye view
Another shot in the fading sunlight
Twilight at the Harper House
I can't thank you enough, Gina and Art for the opportunity to meet you and spend some time in your home. It is truly beautiful.
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