Frank Lloyd Wright is considered as the most famous and influential architect in American history with architectural movements inspired by his work like the Guggenheim Museum and the Falling Water House. Another one of his designs is the Massaro House, which is sadly not recognized by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, is now on the market again priced at $9.95 million.
The property rests on the 10.37-acre Petra Island with a 8,415-square-foot main house and a 1,200-square-foot guest house. The main house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, with an additional two bedrooms and two bathrooms at the guest house. The property also boasts of a second guest house, a tea house, a beach, a dock and a helipad. The interiors has a large fireplace in the room jutting out over the water and five other fireplaces. It also has grouped skylights, built-in furniture, natural boulders, air conditioning, radiant heat and the safety feature of chimney caps.
The Massaro house on Lake Mahopac is under Margaret Harrington and Monica Webster of Douglas Elliman as the island’s listing agents.
The most famous architect in American history, Frank Lloyd Wright designed over 1,000 structures, including Fallingwater, Johnson Wax Headquarters, and the Guggenheim Museum. Roughly 50 miles north of New York City in the middle of Lake Mahopac on its own island, there is a stunning house cantilevered over the water that has had its share of controversy over whether or not it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally listed in 2012 at $20 million, it is back on the market priced at $9.95 million.
Known as the Massaro House, the original owner of the island, Ahmed Chahroudi, engaged Wright in 1950 to draw the plans of the main house and guest house. When they were completed, Chahroudi realized the cost to build was far over his $50,000 budget, so he had only the 1,200-square-foot guest house built. The plans were passed on to the next owner, Joseph Massaro, who purchased the island in 1996 for $700,000.
Massaro wanted to build the main house but didn’t care for some elements in the plans. The Frank Lloyd Wright foundation required $450,000 to rework the plans and supervise the construction in order to certify the house under the Wright name. This was untenable to Massaro, so he hired Thomas A. Heinz, an architect-contractor and Wright historian to do the house instead.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation took Massaro to court obtaining a judgment that he was only allowed to describe the main house design as “Wright inspired,” though the guest house was an original Wright.
Built in 2007 on the 10.37-acre Petra Island, the 8,415-square-foot house has four bedrooms and two baths, between it and the guesthouses there are six bedrooms and four baths. Also on the property is the original 1950 Wright-certified guest house, a second guest house, tea house, beach, dock, and helipad. Many Wright features are immediately recognized such as the large fireplace in the room jutting out over the water (there are six fireplaces in all), grouped skylights, built-in furniture, close to nature with the house built around and including boulders, and the use of wood throughout the home.
Changes that Massaro made were adding air conditioning and radiant heat and the safety feature of chimney caps, which Wright detested. Massaro also removed a stairwell that ran from the deck to the shore. Wright’s designs would not pass today’s building codes as initially drawn.
Used as a private getaway or for holding events, the island is only 50 miles from Manhattan and can be accessed by car, boat, and helicopter. Lake Mahopac is a 587-acre lake to enjoy fishing, boating, jet skis, and wave runners with skating and iceboating in the winter. A number of the island’s residents commute to Manhattan.
Margaret Harrington and Monica Webster of Douglas Elliman are the island’s listing agents.
Jon Dykstra owns an interior design company in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He's fascinated by architecture and interiors. He also enjoys gardening at his "house in the burbs" and "homesteading" at his off-the-grid boat-access cabin.
Combine all that with a love of writing and Homestratsophere.com was born. He balances his working time between running his interior design company, working on his off-the-grid cabin and publishing homestratosphere.com.