Since its construction in 1954, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest Usonian homes — the Johnson-Keland Residence — hit the market for the first time ever this past month and is already pending sale. Located just outside Racine, Wisconsin, in the fast-growing suburb of Mount Pleasant, Wright’s design blends perfectly with its surroundings as the ravine-hugging home looks over Colonial Park and the Root River. The house takes its name from Karen Johnson Boyd, the daughter of Herbert F. Johnson Jr., one of Wright’s most important clients as he commissioned the architect to design a new administration building for his family’s private cleaning supply company, S.C. Johnson & Son, in 1937. Racine, part of the Chicago metropolitan statistical area, offers not just history with a number of architecturally significant buildings, but also density and affordability. Imagine living directly on Lake Michigan for a reasonable price — something you’re not going to find either in the city of Chicago or its suburbs. 

801 Lathrop Ave, Racine, WI, $154,900

Often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright for his use of natural materials and interesting spatial arrangements, local architect John Randal McDonald designed more than 100 buildings in Wisconsin — including his own home in 1949. With its severe roofline and minimalist facade, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom single-family residence stands out from the typical post-WWII ranch homes of the time period. The asymmetrical one-story home has vaulted wood ceilings and clerestory windows that brings in a lot of light but also gives privacy. It has been remodeled with an industrial galley-style kitchen, keeping with the overall look of this one-of-a-kind design.

333 Lake Ave UNIT 406, Racine, WI, $379,000

With views of Lake Michigan from every room, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Lakeshore Towers is on the market for $399,000. The refreshed open-concept unit has a combo living and dining area and comes with two underground parking spaces. The $600 monthly HOA fees include amenities like a party room, fitness center and two pools. It’s perfect for anyone interested in a second home located near to Chicago or wanting to move across the state border.  

227 William St, Racine, WI, $325,000

Located just north of the Racine Zoo and one block from Lake Michigan, this 1929 brick Tudor Revival residence is full of coziness and charm. Maybe it’s not cool and trendy, but this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has a lot going for it, especially its price tag. Currently listed at $325,000, I absolutely love the character inside, including the built-in bookcases and French doors. Maybe not everyone will go for the paneled den, but that knotty pine walls and bar in the basement scream Wisconsin.

1843 Wisconsin Ave, Racine, WI, $900,000

Nestled in Racine’s Southside Historic District is a beautiful Tudor Revival single-family home originally built in 1908. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom residence was listed this past month for $900,000, which is a decent price for a lakefront location (a similar house on the North Shore would be twice that amount, if not more). In addition to a new stucco exterior, the house also comes with new black European windows and a Brazilian wood deck to take in the water views. The contemporary updates inside make it a great mix of the old and new.