House & Home

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sondern-Adler Home a study in open, inviting spaces

Location: Roanoke neighborhood

Details: 2,900 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, den/library

Current Owner: Jim Blair

The Sondern-Adler Home has two names because each of its first owners hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design parts of it.

In 1939, Clarence Sondern contracted with the famous architect to design a home. The result was a Usonian-style masterpiece with Wright’s trademark deep overhangs and big windows that invite nature indoors. It came in at just over 900 square feet, encompassing what is now the den/library, kitchen, two bedrooms and one bathroom.

Nine years later, the second owner, Arnold Adler, invited Wright to design an addition. The result was a huge living space that today includes a formal dining area with built-in seating and a big sunken living room with a fireplace and three walls of huge windows. Wright also added an additional bedroom, bathrooms and carports. The home now has more than 2,900 square feet. In addition, there are three vast terraces.

Jim Blair has lived in the home since 1997, first as a renter and finally buying it about 12 years ago.

“The thing I really like is it is somewhat contemporary but warm, comfortable and inviting,” Blair says.

He loves to entertain, so many have experienced and enjoyed the historic home. He’s had several hundred people over for fundraising events.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great party house,” he says. “I think every time I walk in the door I realize it’s a very special place. All of these houses, we’re just passing through and doing things to preserve them for the future.”