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.