An impeccably restored Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie-style home in South Bend, IN, needs a new steward.

On the market for $750,000, the K.C. DeRhodes House comes with a list price five times greater than South Bend’s current median listing price of $145,000—a testament to the home’s craftsmanship and desirability.

“It’s outside the normal day-in, day-out listing,” says the listing agent, Beau Dunfee of Weichert Realtors.

Built in 1906 for Laura and Kersey DeRhodes, the home is a mirror image of the Barton House in Buffalo, NY, completed two years earlier. A female friend of Laura DeRhodes who was working in Wright’s Oak Park, IL, studio, introduced the couple to the esteemed architect.


Wright designed eight homes in Indiana, of which seven remain. Two are in South Bend: the DeRhodes Home and the Herman T. Mossberg Residence (built in 1948).

Even with the sale’s stipulations for a cash offer or pre-approved mortgage letter, Dunfee has received plenty of interest in the DeRhodes home, including from Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.

Before Tom and Suzanne Miller purchased the home in 1978, from a Masonic lodge, there had only been two other owners: the DeRhodes and a church. However, the Masonic lodge “put it into disrepair,” says Dunfee. “It was basically a fish fry, where guys came to congregate.”

Earlier this year, Suzanne received a Wright Spirit Award (from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Chicago) for the couple’s relentless restoration of the classic residence, which focused on its original stucco, brick fireplace, and stained-glass windows, of which all 65 were either restored or replaced. Oak trim throughout was stripped and restored, too.

Tom DeRhodes died in 2018, and Suzanne passed away this spring. An estate is handling the sale of the five-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home, which spans 2,769 square feet and sits on a half-acre lot. The listing also includes a two-car detached garage and matching front and back terraces.

“It was both of their lifelong work, and we’re trying to honor them with the sale,” says Dunfee.

“The kitchen’s been updated, but within the same layout and design that Wright had,” he adds. It now has a built-in dishwasher, quartz countertops, and stainless-steel appliances. A new half-bathroom on the main floor is joined by two existing bathrooms upstairs, including a walk-in shower with original tile in great shape.

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Living room

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Living room fireplace

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Dining room

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Kitchen

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Half-bathroom

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One of the bedrooms

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One of the bedrooms

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One of the bathrooms

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Stained-glass windows

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One of the terraces

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A Wright-designed sofa in the living room comes with the house—and an amazing backstory of its own.

“The Millers tracked down the sofa that was original to the house, and were able to get it back,” says Dunfee.

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Other Wright-designed furnishings included with the sale are a dresser and light fixture—which aren’t permitted to leave the home.

That’s due to a Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy preservation and conservation easement, which states what can and cannot be done with the home in terms of renovations and restorations.

The goal is “to work with [the buyers] to make sure Wright’s aspects of the home are maintained,” says Dunfee, “rather than be a hindrance.”

That buyer could very well be a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, which is located in South Bend, or a Wright enthusiast. Those moving to South Bend these days are attracted to the low cost of living, including low state property taxes, says Dunfee.

“We’re seeing a lot of people moving from all over the country, because it’s a centrally located place,” he says.

“It will probably be a private buyer,” he adds, “that has a lot of respect for Frank Lloyd Wright, with ties to South Bend in some way—whether the university or living close by.”

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