Did you know that Kirkwood has a home designed by one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century? The Frank Lloyd Wright House at Ebsworth Park is a 1,900-square-foot home designed in 1951 for Russell and Ruth Kraus.
The home sits in a grassy meadow surrounded by persimmon trees in the peaceful Ebsworth Park, near the intersection of Ballas and Dougherty Ferry roads. The Kraus House is an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes, which were intended to provide the middle class with stylish architecture at an affordable price.
The Kraus House was designed as an equilateral parallelogram with a complex floor plan of intersecting parallelograms. The home has a typical Usonian layout and consists of an open living area, a central hearth, concrete slab floors with radiant heat, and a wall of glass doors for viewing the landscape.
Both the home’s interior and exterior were built with brick, concrete, glass, and tidewater red cypress. The doors to the main terrace feature stained glass designed by homeowner Russell Kraus, who was a stained glass and mosaic artist.
The Krauses lived in the home from 1956 until Ruth’s death in 1992. The nonprofit Frank Lloyd Wright House at Ebsworth Park (FLWHEP) purchased the home and grounds from Russell in 2001. It was then deeded to St. Louis County to create a public park and museum. FLWHEP completed extensive renovations of the home’s brick, woodwork, furniture and textiles.
Docent-led group tours of the home are available for $20 per adult and $10 per child. Tours for members are free. Becoming a member helps preserve the house and engage the public in educational programming.
For more information and to book a tour, visit EbsworthPark.org.