One of Frank Lloyd Wright's, and Iowa's, Best-Kept Secrets

May 6, 2014

Cedar Rock house
Credit Iowa Department of Natural Resources

In 1950 famed architect Franck Lloyd Wright completed constructing one of his most comprehensive Usonian-styled homes called Cedar Rock. The house, perched high above the Wapsipinicon River is located in the Cedar Rock State Park outside of Quasqueton. Agnes and Lowell Walter, former owners of the Iowa Road Building Company, commissioned Wright to build a “modest home to be designed and built on a limestone bluff” on the Wapsi River. Lowell wanted to show that a beautiful house could be constructed in his home town without having to go to Florida or California.

Plans for Cedar Rock appeared in the June 1945 issues of the Ladies Home Journal and on several occasions Wright brought architectural students to tour the home.

Cedar Rock, called a gem by many, not only reflects Wright’s architectural sense of design and style, but also features Wright-designed furniture, along with selected fabrics, carpets and accessories.

The house will be opening for visitors this year on May 21st. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Program Planner 2, Kathryn Hurd and the Vice President and Membership Chair of the Friends of Cedar Rock, James Dains, both rolled out the red carpet for Iowa Public Radio’s Iowa Arts Showcase.

Kathryn and James shared insider stories about Frank Lloyd Wright, the Walters, and what some of the home builders said about their experiences working with Mr. Wright.

The Garden Room in Cedar Rock
Credit Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Inside Cedar Rock
Credit Iowa Department of Natural Resources