The public entrance to the house is located at
PLEASE NOTE: The Weltzheimer/Johnson House is now closed for the season. The house will next reopen to the public on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Public Open Houses will be held on the first Sunday of each month from April through November.
The Weltzheimer/Johnson House at Oberlin College is a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House that sits on a lot several blocks from campus. Designed in 1947 and completed in 1949, it is the first Usonian house in Ohio and one of the few in the nation open to the public.
The Weltzheimer/Johnson House stands as another expression of Wright's answer to the demand for beautiful and affordable middle-class homes in the post WWII America. Pairing innovation with basic owner-builder construction materials and techniques, the concepts of organic architecture evolved into these Usonian characteristics: a flowing floor plan with distinct public and private wings; concrete, grid patterned, slab floor with radiant heat; flat roof and cantilevered carport; masonry fireplace mass; board and batten walls with simple built-in furniture; and tall glass walls and doors opening to the landscape.
The Weltzheimer/Johnson House uses brick masonry and redwood and has several distinctive features, including the hundreds of stained croquet balls forming the roof dentil ornamentation whose circular motif is echoed in the shadow panel screens of the clerestory and the interior brick columns that separate the workspace from the living room.
The Weltzheimer family lived in the house until 1963 when the property was sold to developers and "remodeling" efforts scarred the space. However, in 1968, Art History Professor Ellen H. Johnson purchased the home and began the restoration process. In 1992 at her death, the house was given to Oberlin College to serve as a guesthouse for the Art Department and the Allen Memorial Art Museum. The house is now open to the public for tours and programs.
Frank Lloyd Wright at Oberlin: The Story of the Welzheimer/Johnson House, Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin 49, no. 1 (1995), is available at the Weltzheimer/Johnson House during tour hours. Bulletin is $10 per copy.