$200,000 restoration coming for Frank Lloyd Wright-designed boathouse

A $200,000 restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed boathouse at Iowa’s Cedar Rock State Park will get underway this spring.

We call it the man cave,” said Katie Hund, site manager at Cedar Rock, the state-owned estate built by Wright for Lowell and Agnes Walter in the early 1950s.

The boathouse was Lowell’s personal retreat, a place where he could get away and relax,” Hund said.

The boathouse, with its overhanging roof, cantilevered construction and Wright-designed furniture, echoes key features of the main house, which sits at the opposite end of the limestone spine known as Cedar Rock.

While the house remains in good condition, deferred maintenance and prolonged exposure to the elements have degraded the elegant brick pavilion, which features a fireplace, sleeping and lounging quarters, boat storage and launching facilities, and a deck overlooking the scenic Wapsipinicon River.

The contract, awarded to Eugene Matthews Inc. of Broadview, Ill., calls for restoring the building’s brick and concrete exterior and refinishing the walnut woodwork inside the boathouse. Completion is expected in October.

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