Feb 022012

________________________________________________________________________________________________Frank Lloyd Wright Rendering of Fir Tree House in New mexico

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.

Wright's Entrance Gate at Fir Tree House in Pecos, 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.


Painting of Wright's Fir tree House in Pecos, NM


________________________________________________________________________________________________Floor Plan of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fir Tree Hoouse in Pecos, New Mexico_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Wright Homes:

Robie House: West End

  Robie House, Chicago


For twenty years,  has stood out among Santa Fe Architects by creating unique residential and commercial architecture in Northern New Mexico .


  One Response to “Fir Tree House – Frank Lloyd Wright in New Mexico”

  1. I too have a problem with fmuaos architects, but it is not Because fmuaos architects get pandered to by their clients and co-workers. Even fmuaos architects have to wrestle with demanding clients and slashed budgets (i.e. value engineering ) My problem, is that the focus is always on the facade, what the building looks like, and not how the architect successful addressed the purpose of the building. For example the Guggenheim museum in NY. Very interesting, innovative facade but quite frankly a poor building to view and contemplate art (wonderful for people watching though!) IA, like typography, exists to honor content (The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst.) If we are going to learn from regular architecture let us look at examples where the purpose of the structure (and the needs and desires of its occupants and visitors) are honored.

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