One of the most complete Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the United States, Samara offers national and international visitors rare immersive insight into Wright’s Usonian design philosophy.
Years in the Making
The story of Samara is one of a young couple aspiring to a dream home designed by one of America’s most famous architects. Today, tucked into a quiet neighborhood in West Lafayette, that home is an exceptional example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses, which the architect defined as a sensible, modest, uniquely American dwellings.
In 1950, Dr. John and Catherine Christian reached out to Frank Lloyd Wright, who took their commission on the condition that the couple would fully implement his design, inside and out, even if it took years. During a visit to Taliesin, Catherine gave the famous architect a 28-page booklet, “What We Need for How We Live,” detailing the couple’s space needs and how they would use each room—from family gatherings to hosting faculty and students from nearby Purdue University, where Dr. Christian was a Bionucleonics professor.
The Christians worked with Wright over a period of five years (1951-1956) to develop detailed design and construction plans—from landscape and exterior details to specific interior furnishings including china, bed linens, and even the toilet paper holder.
Named for the winged seeds produced by the site’s evergreens, Samara features an abstract version of the winged seed design motif throughout the interior and exterior of the house. Today, Samara is notable as one of the most complete, fully implemented Wright-designed projects.
Indiana Landmarks led a years-long effort to get Samara designated a National Historic Landmark, a distinction it finally earned in 2015.
Today, Indiana Landmarks co-stewards Samara with the John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust. In 2022, Indiana Landmarks launched a comprehensive restoration project to address structural issues and update aging environmental systems to protect the home’s extensive collection of Wright-designed furnishings. The $1.6 million project is funded by a $500,000 Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, the John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc., and private donations.
Samara will reopen in April with tours offered on a regular basis for the first time, rather than by appointment. Make your reservation below. For additional details, visit samara-house.org.
Samara Tours 2023
Click on available dates (shaded on the calendar) to see tour times.
Frequently asked questions
Does Samara have on-site parking?
We ask that you park on Woodland Avenue. We are located on the right-hand side of the dead-end street where you will see a brick driveway and gate. Please walk on the driveway to the residence.We ask that you park on Woodland Avenue. We are located on the right-hand side of the dead-end street where you will see a brick driveway and gate. Please walk on the driveway to the residence.
Is Samara wheelchair accessible?
Due to steps required to enter the house and narrow halls and doors, Samara is not currently accessible to all. If you have questions about accommodation and access, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-409-5522.
Are there many stairs during the tour?
The tour includes trips up and down a total of 21 shallow stairs. If you need accommodations for a more accessible route, please alert your guide prior to the tour.
Are public restrooms available at Samara?
We ask that you use a restroom before your visit to the historic home. However, if needed, there is one private facility available on site.
Are tickets refundable?
Refund requests must be received at least seven days in advance of tour date. If tickets are purchased through Eventbrite, you will receive a partial refund as Eventbrite no longer refunds their fees.
Is photography allowed?
Bring a camera if you wish; photography is encouraged at Samara.