We recently got our mitts on a copy of our forthcoming book, This American House: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meier House and the American System-Built Homes, and It. Is. Gorgeous. We consider ourselves fortunate to have worked with the talented editors and designers at Pomegranate. They were a dream team throughout the journey – even when a global pandemic and supply chain issues popped up along the way! We submitted our manuscript and a giant file of images back in July of 2019 and the team at Pomegranate produced a beautiful book that makes us proud.
Holding the book is especially sweet because it was a long, long journey to get it into print. First, of course, was the research. When we bought the Meier House in 2013, we immediately dived into researching the American System-Built Home project and gathering the history of our little piece of it. We interviewed former owners, searched through the Wright archives at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, compared notes with other ASBH owners and spent countless hours scrolling through blogs, websites and library records. We shared some of our findings here on the blog over the years but we always had an eye toward collecting the history in a book.
We went on to sign a book contract with Pomegranate in 2018. The time had finally come to sort through all the information we had collected over the years and form it into a manuscript. As we did so, we identified the five chapters of what would become the This American House book:
- An American Plan: An overview of the American System-Built Homes project and where they sit in Frank Lloyd Wright’s canon of work.
- A Home in a Prairie Town: The story of Delbert and Grace Meier, the colorful couple who built this American System-Built Home, and their connection to Northeast Iowa.
- This American House: A snapshot of how the Meiers built a Model M202 in 1917 Iowa.
- If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the families who called the Meier House their home.
- The Accidental Archivists: How a couple from Chicago (that’s us!) found their way to a 100-year-old house and what they’re doing to preserve it.
It took us a little over six months to write the manuscript and collect all the images we wanted to include. That meant obtaining images from libraries and other resources, photographing every standing American System-Built Home and working with former owners to find old photos of our house. It also meant finishing a slew of projects at the Meier House so we could get interior and exterior photos that would be included in the book.
When we submitted all the materials in summer of 2019, we were expecting a 2020 book release. Oh but the world had other ideas! As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world, it also put a pause on the publishing industry. The folks at Pomegranate very wisely decided to push back release of our book by a year. We were disappointed (naturally!) but considering what we all endured in 2020, it didn’t seem like something we had any right to complain about.
But now, almost three years after signing the contract, This American House: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meier House and the American System-Built Homes is finally here! Well, almost. The book is scheduled for release on July 15, 2021 … but now we’re experiencing some shipping issues that may cause a slight delay. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book from Amazon or your favorite local bookstore.
We can’t wait for you all to hold This American House in your hands! Stay tuned for book excerpts and behind-the-scenes stories as we excitedly await its release.