Frank Lloyd Wright house dismantled in Cloquet, rebuilt in Pennsylvania
Mäntylä is finally settled into a new setting in Pennsylvania's Polymath Park.
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, originally built in Cloquet in the 1950s, was disassembled and moved in 2016. "Mäntylä" means "house among the pines" in Finnish.
The Lindholm House was donated by owners Peter and Julene McKinney to the Usonian Preservation Inc., a nonprofit group associated with Polymath Park that strives to preserve the home.
Peter's grandparents, Ray and Emmy Lindholm, had the house commissioned and built as a retirement home. The style, described as Usonian, grew in popularity in the 1930s.
The Lindholm House, listed for sale on and off again for 10 years, sat empty for more than two of those years. It had many issues and was continuing to deteriorate over time. The original in-floor heating system had quit working, among other problems.
When the house was originally built, it was in a country setting surrounded by farms and forest, including pine trees. Over the years, stores like Walmart have been sprouting up closer to the home.
The Lindholms enjoyed entertaining often and showed off their unusual home to many guests over the years. They welcomed visitors to admire the unique architecture and take photos. For the first time in decades, the public will once again enjoy that opportunity.
"The house is an architectural gem and should be treated as such," Polymath CEO Tom Papinchak said. He said it wasn't unusual for such a structure to take two years to be rebuilt, but it only took about four weeks to deconstruct the house and move it.
"The architecture is very detailed," Papinchak explained. "It's like architectural surgery."
The move included the house's furniture, custom-designed by Wright.
Papinchak said the few challenges the crew experienced should be expected in a project of this size.
"They (Peter and Julene McKinney) did the right thing to donate the house," Papinchak said.
The furniture has been set up and guests can see what the home looked like when it was built in Cloquet about 60 years ago. There is no danger of suburban sprawl encroaching on the new site. Even the radiant floor system has been reconstructed.
Peter and Julene McKinney attended the opening of the family home at Polymath Park on April 29.
According to the website, Mäntylä is now open for daily tours and overnight accommodations.
The Polymath Park website states that the home will place visitors into a setting flowing with Wright's eclectic, yet visionary, design techniques. It invites guests to "discover the dramatic angles and prows that seem to tower over the landscape."
The house was the Lindholms' first Wright-designed project. The R.W. Lindholm Service Station was built for its namesake at Minnesota Highway 33 and Cloquet Avenue in 1956. It's still in operation.
According to "James N. McNally's Photographic Guide to Frank Lloyd Wright Structures," there were more than a dozen Wright-designed homes and commercial buildings constructed in Minnesota; most are houses.