Discovering Auldbrass

Have you heard of Auldbrass? Me either, and I didn’t imagine discovering a significant Frank Lloyd Wright design in Yemassee, South Carolina.

What is unique about Auldbrass is that it is the only plantation Wright designed and is one of his most complex projects. It is said that an intense commitment to Auldbrass prompted him to work on it from 1938 until his death in 1959.

Situated on acres of land, the multiple buildings have the same intricate linear and angled detail. Inside, the furniture is custom built for its use and location, but no photos were allowed to my disappointment.

Huge oak trees draped with Spanish moss define the property.

Responding to the moss, Wright designed downspouts that represented it. These were not installed until the current owner had them made in his effort to complete the house as it had been drawn.

As I walked the property, I began noticing the repeated use of red on everything from the walkways to the bricks to the bases of sculptures.

Even the cars were done in brick red! Something tells me the choice of color was not accidental!

The effect of this place set in low country beauty was magical. I could imagine relaxing among the oaks with nothing more than bird songs and wind chimes interrupting the quiet.

As a private residence, Auldbrass was rarely photographed or published which explains why more is not known about this amazing Wright design. After the original owners death, it fell into disrepair and remained so until some 30 years ago when a Hollywood producer bought the property. Over the years, he has not only restored the original structure and furnishings but added to Auldbrass in an effort to complete Wright’s design. It is an ongoing project that occasionally opens to the public as a fundraiser for the Open Land Trust. As an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, I am very grateful to have experienced Auldbrass.

13 thoughts on “Discovering Auldbrass

  1. Never heard of it. How wonderful that someone has purchased it that is interested in preserving it and adding finishing touches. Love the red brick accents. That car is something else.

    1. Auldbrass was a stunning fine and reinforced my appreciation for Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs.

  2. Architecture fascinates me and I am a certified draftsman and have studied much of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work but have not heard of Auldbrass. How interesting he drew the downspouts to resemble the Spanish moss, I wish photos had been allowed inside! That old car is wonderful!

    1. You would have loved visiting Auldbrass with its unusual details. I have long admired FLW and our Houston house has some of his influences.

  3. Sounds interesting and the brick red is fabulous!

    1. As an admirer of FLW, I was thrilled to visit Auldbrass.

  4. Thats close to me and I never heard about this, thanks for the share

    1. I understand Auldbrass is open to visitors every couple of years on a limited basis.

  5. It’s spectacular! The Brick red is a statement choice. I’m so happy someone is bringing it all back to life.
    Have a wonderful new week my friend!

    1. The effort to complete FLW’s design strikes me as monumental, and it’s wonderful that someone cared enough and has the financial ability to make the project complete.

  6. It sounds as if you might be wintering just down the road from me ( Charleston). Since I never had the chance to visit you and your husband when you were in Houston, maybe we can arrange a mini bloggers summit in the lowcountry?

    1. We have bought a little house on Dataw where we will likely spend the most time in the spring. I’ll touch base when we return in March and would enjoy a get together. Take care.

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