Hanna House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Hanna House, Palo Alto
Hanna House, Palo Alto. Scott Johnson/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hanna House was designed in 1936 for Stanford University professor Paul Hanna, his wife Jean, and their five children.

The Hannas asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design an inexpensive house for their growing family. His solution was a glass-fronted collection of hexagon-shaped spaces surrounding a brick chimney. The Hannas thought it would cost about $15,000, but ended up instead with a price tag of $37,000. 

Nicknamed "Honeycomb House" for the hexagon shapes, it was Wright's first design based on non-rectangular forms. Hanna House is recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of seventeen Wright buildings that best represent his contribution to American culture.

The house is generally considered to be one of Wright's Usonian designs, intended for middle-income families. However, subsequent additions pushed its eventual size and cost far beyond the budget of "Middle America." 

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Hanna House Interior

Interior, Hanna House
Scott Johnson/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The house is made of redwood and brick, with a concrete slab floor. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living area charmingly described ​on the blueprints as the "sanctum." Also on the property are a guest house, hobby shop, garage, and carport, as well as now-dry water features.

The house was the Hanna family home until 1975 when it was donated to Stanford University. It served as the provost's home until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake severely damaged it and subsequently closed for almost a decade for a seismic retrofit.

You can see a few more photos - and a plan drawing - of it here

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More About the Hanna House - and More of California's Wright Sites

Hanna House, Palo Alto
Daniel Hartwig/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

If you want to know more about Wright's Usonian architecture, try this - or read Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses by Carla Lind.

Hanna House Details

737 Frenchman's Road
Stanford, CA (about 30 miles south of San Francisco off I-280)

Tours of the Hanna House are available by reservation only. You cannot get onto the grounds at any other time.

More of the Wright Sites

Hanna House is one of a few California Wright sites that are open for public tours. You can get a list of all the Frank Lloyd Wright tours in California in this guide.

It is also one of eight Wright designs in the San Francisco area, including two of his most important works. Use the guide to Frank Lloyd Wright in the San Francisco area to find all of them.

Hanna House is among the 17 Wright buildings named his most important works by the American Institute of Architecture, three of which are in California. The others are the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles and the V.C. Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco.

It is also one of Wright's designs which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Others include the Anderton Court ShopsHollyhock HouseEnnis HouseSamuel Freeman HouseMarin Civic Center, the Millard House, and the Storer House.

Wright's Usonian houses were designed for middle-income families. They featured indoor-outdoor connections and were often built in an "L" shape. They include the Sydney Bazett HouseBuehler HouseRandall Fawcett House, Sturges House, Arthur Mathews House, and the Kundert Medical Clinic in San Luis Obispo (which is based on a Usonian House design).

Wright's work isn't all in the San Francisco area. He also designed nine structures in the Los Angeles area. Use the guide to Wright Sites in Los Angeles to find out where they are. You'll also find several houses, a church, and a medical clinic in some of the most unexpected places. Here's where to find Wright sites in the rest of California.

More to See Nearby

You'll find examples of Victorian style architecture all over San Francisco, including the famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square. Other sights with particular architectural interest include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the deYoung Museum and Renzo Piano's Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, and the Transamerica Building.

Nearby in San Jose, you'll find a city hall designed by Richard Meier. In Silicon Valley, the big-name tech companies like Apple, Google, Nvidia, and Facebook have buildings of architectural importance, but most are off limits except to their employees. 

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Map to the Hanna House

Map to the Hanna House
Adapted from Google Maps
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