If you haven’t been to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, just north of Fayetteville, Arkansas, you need to take the drive sometime — if not to see the pretty-good-but-not-great collection then to see architect Moshe Safdie’s stunning design, a cluster of copper-and-glass covered bridges surrounding two ponds. And now there’s another reason. The museum, the creation of Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, just bought an entire Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in New Jersey, and plans on carting everything — including the fixtures and furniture inside that Wright designed — to Arkansas, where it’ll become a major addition to the Crystal Bridges campus.
The Bachman Wilson House was built in Somerset County, N.J., in 1954, but although the current owners, architects Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, had extensively restored the home in 2008, it was considered endangered because of repeat floodings the past decade from the nearby Millstone River. The home was designed while Wright had started work on the Guggenheim Museum in New York, his last masterpiece. This was also the period that saw Wright design the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas.
The price for the house and the move — contingent on the building being moved to a safe location — was $1.5 million. The move is expected to be finished next year.