In 1958, Frank Lloyd Wright broke a personal record with a cottage he designed for Seth Peterson, a longtime admirer of his work. At just 880 square feet, the home along Mirror Lake, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is the smallest residential building Wright has ever touched. But this is not its smallest structure. Instead, that honor goes to a doghouse, which Wright designed in the mid-1950s and is now on display at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, California.— Home & Garden
In the early 1950s, Robert and Gloria Berger commissioned Wright to design a Usonian-style home for their family in San Anselmo, California. In 1956, their 12-year-old son, Jim Berger, wrote to Wright asking for plans for a matching dog house for his Labrador retriever, Eddie. The architect provided plans for a four-foot-square structure, written on the back of an envelope, the following year. The miniature house, nicknamed Eddie’s House, was triangular in shape and featured characteristic Wright details, such as a low-pitched roof with an exaggerated overhang. Wright suggested that Berger use pieces of mahogany and Philippine cedar left over from the original construction of the house.
The niche was not built until 1963, after Berger returned from a military tour. When Jim’s father died in 1970, the original structure was scrapped. However, in 2010 Jim and his brother Eric rebuilt the shelter using the original plans and donated it to Marin County, Northern California in 2016. It was on display at the Marin County Civic Center, the Wright’s largest existing building, for one year then put into storage. But, after years of demands for his return, Eddie’s home is once again exposed.