North of the village of Pecos, New Mexico, along a narrow road that winds up-river, past a Benedictine Monastery, you may find a small gate tucked into the forest. This unmistakable marker was placed sixty years ago by Frank Lloyd Wright. Behind the entrance lies a special residence hidden deep in the woods. It would be an understatement to note that this is one of Mr. Wright’s lesser known projects. Constructed for Arnold Friedman in 1948, it is the only 100% authentic Wright house in New Mexico.
Fir Tree House enjoys frontage along the trout-rich Pecos River near its headwaters. The design employs cedar shingle siding (unusual for Wright) and rough concrete-masonry of the kind seen later at Taliesin West in the Arizona desert. The focus of this residence is an elevated court. The adjacent living space is crowned by a “teepee” roof and an over-scaled chimney.
The plan’s hexagonal geometry bears more than coincidental resemblance to a previously unbuilt Wright design of the 1920’s for a resort in Lake Tahoe. The compact layout was constructed in 1948 and was expanded with various additions including a carport. A swimming pool was added recently and is not of Wright’s design.
Wright’s unfortunate selection of the name: ”Fir Tree House” is a perhaps a miss-identification of the native Cedars and Ponderosa Pines.
Other Wright Homes: