E. E. Boynton House

This multi-year project begun in 2009 and completed in 2012 included comprehensive exterior and interior restoration and rehabilitation of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed main house, comprehensive landscape redesign coordinated with Bayer Landscape Architecture PLLC, and the design and construction of a new covered pergola and large garage.

Project Details:

At the outset the Owners, Fran Cosentino and Jane Parker, identified a series of basic guiding principles:

+ The house remain an owner-occupied residence, with sympathetic modifications to bring it up to 21st century standards of comfort and convenience.
+ Signature Frank Lloyd Wright designed features and principal spaces be preserved and restored, in keeping with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Restoration.
+ Secondary and altered spaces be rehabilitated in a manner consistent with the original Wright design, in keeping with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
+ The property be reimagined and redeveloped to adapt Wright’s vision for the original, larger property to its much smaller current lot.
+ The project team be comprised solely of qualified local professionals and craftspeople.

Key Aspects of Restoration/Rehabilitation of Main House:

+ Restoring the most prominent public view of the house through the removal of the front porch enclosure and restoration of the deeply cantilevered roof.
+ Restoring all exterior finishes and materials, including, but not limited to the elaborate built-in gutters, cedar shake roofing, woodwork, and stucco.
+ Salvaging and restoring all historic window sash and art glass and providing new protective storm windows.
+ Refinishing all original wood work. Restoring original light fixtures and adding compatible new fixtures.
+ Design and fabrication of custom furniture and built-in cabinetry to compliment the remaining seventeen Wright designed pieces of original furniture, which were also carefully restored.
+ Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems were concealed and sensitively upgraded to operate more efficiently.

Design Process and Solution for New Construction:

The Project Team drew inspiration for the re-imagined landscape from lost features of the original design, the Prairie-Style design vocabulary, and similar Wright designed properties.  The rear yard was reconfigured to provide the type of outdoor experience lost to the subdivision.  A new 1 ½-story garage and covered pergola, both inspired by Wright’s unrealized preliminary designs,  defined a new courtyard in what had been a service yard. These features were carefully differentiated from the unbuilt designs and from the existing house.  The courtyard design was inspired by the axial relationships and landscape features found in the original design for this and other Wright properties, integrating a new lily pond, a raised platform/bio-filter, and buffer plantings.

The Boynton House has been admired for its architecture, but was physically deteriorating to a degree no one realized.  This project, by addressing this critical threat to the building’s future and sensitively rehabilitating the home to twenty-first century standards, has ensured that this architectural masterpiece will remain a cherished home for many decades to come.

Project Team:

+ Fran Cosentino and Jane Parker, Owners
+ Bero Architecture PLLC, Project Architect
+ Bayer Landscape Architecture PLLC, Landscape Architect
+ Jean France, Architectural Historian
+ Jensen BRV Engineering PLLC, Structural Engineer
+ Scott C. Braley, Project Manager
+ Landmark Society of Western New York, Covenant Holder
+ Darryl Gronsky Presents, Interior Design

We are honored that the E. E. Boynton House project has been recognized with the following awards and distinctions:

+ Special Citation Award in Preservation, Landmark Society of Western New York, 2012
+ “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boynton House – The Next Hundred Years”, Documentary Film, WXXI Public Broadcasting, 2012
+ Merit Award for Design Excellence, Upstate Chapter of the ASLA, 2013 (Bayer Landscape Architecture)
+ Grand Honor Award for Design Excellence, Rochester Chapter of the AIA, 2014 + Design Award – Citation for Design, AIA New York State, 2014
+ “A Wright House in Rochester”, Old House Journal, May 2017