Faces of Tourism Story


Frank Loyd Wright's Samara, John and Catherine Christian House (West Lafayette)

In 1950, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright agreed to design a home for a young couple in West Lafayette. That young couple was Dr. John and Catherine Christian and their home was completed in 1956. For the past 25 years, John Christian, who still lives in the house at age 97, has made the house available for Wright scholars, Wright fans, and the public at large. In 2008, Dr. Christian hired me to help curate his archives and to handle the educational tours for people wanting to visit. For me, it has been the opportunity of a lifetime to work with Dr. Christian in this fabulous home, getting to know him and share his stories.

On April 15, 2015, SAMARA was designated a National Historic Landmark, one of only 40 in Indiana. This is a huge honor for this small single family home. SAMARA represents one of the most completely realized creations of Mr. Wright, as the Christians carefully followed his plans for the house, the interior design, furniture and the landscape.

Dr. Christian is an amazing person who has created a warm and inviting space. The question we are asked the most is, “Where is your TV?” and the looks of amazement we get when we show off the television and all the other magical things about this home! We love sharing SAMARA with the thousands of visitors each year, and we look forward to seeing you visit, too.