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John Pew House

Pew House

Just across the street from the northeast corner of the Blackhawk Country Club and tucked neatly into the woods on a narrow strip of land on the shores of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin is the incredible, Wright-designed Pew House.

It was built in 1940 for John and Ruth Pew by Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship. From Lake Mendota Drive, the home is almost impossible to see – even in the wintertime when the leaves are gone from the trees.

It looks almost small from that view, and is crowded on both sides by more recently-built homes (the Pews could only afford to purchase 75 feet of lakefront). And it is fairly modest in size – at least by Wright’s standards; the home is only about 1600 square feet and a tad smaller than the guest house of Wright-designed Fallingwater (1700 sq. ft.) in Pennsylvania. Many have compared the Wisconsin structure to Fallingwater.

An incredibly beautiful Usonian, the home is an excellent example of Wright’s organic designs, fitting in well with its surroundings and cantilevered over a natural ravine. Wright also used both natural and local building materials – like the red tidewater cypress (used both inside and out) and locally-quarried, rough-cut limestone. The cypress on the outside has aged beautifully and literally melts into the surrounding woods; on the inside it still retains a rich and warm glow.

There are floor-to-ceiling windows over-looking the lakefront and a wide balcony runs across the back of the home, extending the house into the trees. There are also the typical Wright-designed built-ins like banks of pull-out drawers in the bedrooms and a banquette with storage beneath in the dining room.


3650 Lake Mendota Drive, Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin


This house is privately owned and not available for tours.

Resources & Links

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater Minor, Old House Online (Feb 11, 2011)

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About Me

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

FLW Enthusiast & Webmaster

Architecture and home design have always fascinated me. As a young girl I enjoyed drawing floor plans, rearranging my parent’s furniture and playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos.  My passion has always been the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Since I have been old enough to drive a car, I have visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicagoland area and attended the Wright Plus house walks. Now, as co-owners of Northern Sky Designs, my husband & I are able to combine our website design skills and FLW travels to bring you this website! Enjoy!

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross