Frank Gehry's Winton Guest House must be sold! Completed in 1987 for Mike and Penny Winton, the Winton Guest House in Owatonna, Minnesota is one of Gehry's few residential projects that contributed to his rising fame during the 1990s. According to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul -- the home's current owner -- the $4.5 million home will be up for auction on May 19 in Chicago, with auction house Wright in charge of handling the sale.
Entryway to the University of St. Thomas St. Paul campus
Mike and Penny Winton commissioned Gehry to design the home in 1982 when they needed extra room for their family to accompany their Philip Johnson-designed residence on their property in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Built from plywood, stone, brick, and metal, the 2,300 sq.ft guest house consists of five separate geometric spaces that include a central pyramidal living room tower, two bedrooms, a kitchen, fireplace room, two bathrooms, and loft space. The house's distinctive geometric-block design is based on Gehry's "house as a village" concept, which was mainly inspired by the bottle paintings of artist Giorgio Morandi. Gehry also applied the concept to his own residence in Santa Monica.
Real estate developer Kirt Woodhouse purchased the home from the Wintons in 2002 and then donated it the University of St. Thomas in 2007 with the provision that the house must be relocated. Between 2008-2011, the university had the house shipped as eight separate parts 110 miles down south to its current location in Owatonna, where it was reassembled and repurposed as part of the Daniel C. Gainey Conference Center.
Ever since St. Thomas sold the Gainey Center, the guest house must begin relocation this June to meet its August 2016 deadline.