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Frank Lloyd Wright in Massachusetts: His one work in the commonwealth

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Amherst’s Theodore Baird Residence


June 8 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

He designed more than 1,000 properties before his death in 1959, several hundred of which came to fruition. Think the Guggenheim in New York or every third house in the Chicago area.

But Wright designed only one property built in Massachusetts.

Theodore Baird, an English professor at Amherst College, commissioned Wright in 1940 to design a new single-family house for him and his family at 38 Shays Street in Amherst. (Baird and his wife sought out the architect after reading his autobiography.)

Done in the International style, the one-story spread was built from brick, cypress, and glass; has a flat roof; and was finished the same year the Bairds’ commissioned it. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.