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Luxury

All Awesome Angles: We Found a Usonian-Inspired Delight in Illinois

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Built in 1955, this Usonian-style home in Kewanee, IL, was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast named Philip B. Welch. In fact, Welch was such a devotee, he teamed up with "the father of modern architecture" on the iconic Walker House in Carmel, CA.

Wright's imprint can easily be seen in Welch's design of this four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Located on a huge plot of land, the house recently hit the market for $499,000. The exterior displays an organic, angular shape, with walls of glass jutting out from the design. On the interior, there's a central fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and narrow hallways -- all hallmarks of Wright designs.

That the 2,355-square-foot home is set on 29 acres of wild, open land that includes a private lake adds up to plenty of privacy. A triangular-shaped, glass-enclosed space is perfect for celebrating the outdoors from a cozy indoor spot on overcast or chilly days. Skylights allow for an abundance of natural light to fill the house, including the kitchen.

"It's extremely different than all the other houses in Kewanee," says listing agent Matthew Kindred of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, about the housing stock in this Western Illinois town. "It really kind of feels like a Mid-Century Modern lodge."

This Usonian with an architectural pedigree is pricier than neighboring homes, many of which date to 1900 and list for between $75,000 and $100,000, on average.

Nature enthusiasts, he suspects, would welcome the opportunity to live here. "It seems like an appropriate place for somebody to have a second home, or a group of guys who wanted to use it as a hunting lodge where they can get their dose of rural living but have a neat architecturally styled home," says Kindred. Because the house is located just over a couple of hours south of Chicago, it may also entice city folks in search of a weekend retreat, he says.

Since its construction, the property has been in the hands of just one owner: a local family with a number of business ventures. The parents who oversaw the home's construction have since died, and their adult children are selling their childhood home because they no longer live in Kewanee.

"They're kind of an eclectic, fun family, and this house was a revolt against fancy living, and into organic living," says Mark Ferill, the home's co-listing agent.