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Pete Plunkett

Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Speaks: english

Frank Lloyd Wright overnight rental - The Elam House

14 Reviews
Bedrooms 1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 1 - 2 nights


Minnesota House Rental Photos and Description

820 sq foot Frank Lloyd Wright Guest House suitable for up to 5 guests

Ever wonder what it would be like to stay overnight and tour one of the largest Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Homes? Now, you can find out! Experience the wonder and fascination of Frank Lloyd Wright in this beautiful home which features 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3 floor to ceiling fireplaces, two living rooms with soaring ceilings, cantilevered balcony, terrazzo and slate flooring, slate patio outside the guest entrance, over 100 windows, over 100 light fixtures all set in the ceiling, rare white cypress wood, massive limestone piers and stonework comparable to that of Taliesin East, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The 820 square foot Guest House suite has one bedroom and sleeps two comfortably. The guest bedroom has a queen sized bed, in-suite bath room including separate shower and bath tub and walk-in closet. The guest quarters also include a living room and kitchen. The living room has a private entrance, dining area and Satellite TV. Free Wi-Fi access is available. The kitchen includes microwave, toaster, dishwasher, refrigerator, coffee maker, pots, pans, china and flatware. There is also a futon and an air mattress available which can be set up in the guest bedroom or the living room for 3 additional guests. Enjoy relaxing in the privacy and quiet of the Elam House guest quarters.

Videos and magazines on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and his designs will be available for our guest perusal. Surf the Internet while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee near the fireplace. Play a board game or watch a movie on Direct TV or from our collection of classic movies. Some of the original plans for the Elam House are on display in the gallery for our guest's viewing pleasure. A pocket door in the middle of the 60 foot long gallery/hallway separates the guest rental area from the residence and will be closed and locked before and after the tour of the entire house to ensure the privacy of our guests.

Tours of the entire house are available only to our rental guests between the hours of 5 - 7 pm. There may be some variability on weekends, so please confirm with Peter Plunkett when your tour will take place. Guests are free to walk around the grounds of the entire lot and through the entire guest area at any time during their stay.

You might enjoy examining the Webster Electric 'Teletalk' intercom system that is hardwired throughout the entire house. There are 3 base stations, one at the head of the stairs, one in the master bedroom and one in the guest living room. All of the bedrooms and the garage have an intercom as well. Although not operational at this time, we plan to renovate the system in the future.

The house was designed only for floor heat, however, that was not acceptable to Mr. Elam who demanded that a forced air heating system be added as well. The large 'Kewanee' boilers (there are two of them) and the huge air circulation system are really something to see. The original Hammond organ installed by Elam still remains in the main living room and will be restored as well. Of course, we are sure you will be 'Wowed' by the three floor to ceiling fireplaces that are in the house. Frank Lloyd Wright always liked a good fireplace that the family could relax and unwind by. As much as possible, we are striving to restore our beautiful home to its original splendor. We hope you enjoy staying in it as much as we enjoy living in it!

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pete Plunkett (Owner)
Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Speaks: english

About Pete Plunkett

Welcome guests. I am Pete Plunkett, the Innkeeper for the Elam House. I live in the Elam House with my son, Daran. I was born 5 months after my father Warren Plunkett, purchased the home in March, 1959 from S.P. 'Pearl' Elam. I grew up in the Elam House, went to school and graduated from Austin High School, obtained a BA degree in Business Management from St. Thomas College and a JD degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1985. I have practicing law in Austin, Minnesota since 1985. In 1987, I purchased a home across the street from the Elam House and lived there until 2006 when I moved back into the Elam House.

I am also a slalom water skier competing in local, regional and national tournaments; a competition control-line model airplane pilot; an instrument rated private pilot; an Amateur Extra Class radio operator; an ice hockey player and coach; and an avid duck and pheasant hunter. I have lived in the Twin Cities, and Oklahoma City, but have spent the majority of my life in Austin. I know the Elam House very well and look forward to telling you about it and introducing you to Austin, Minnesota if you have never visited here before.

Pete Plunkett purchased this house in 1959

Why Pete Plunkett chose Minnesota

This is our family home. We enjoy the home very much and since it is the second largest Usonian home by Frank Lloyd Wright, we wanted to allow other people interested in Wright designs to stay overnight and experience the home in a more intimate manner. Wright drew plans for over 1000 homes. 532 of these designs were built and approximately 400 remain. 13 of these homes are in Minnesota and 4 are in Southern Minnesota. The Elam House is a rare treasure indeed!

What makes this house unique

Enjoy the fantastic views from either living room. Both living rooms have large windows that create one full wall of glass. Some of the windows in the main living room are Nine feet tall and three and a half feet wide. The three floor to ceiling fireplaces are a hallmark of Frank Lloyd Wright. The soaring ceilings in the living rooms are outstanding and give the effect of the room exploding upwards upon entrance. The rare cypress wood lining the ceilings and walls and the meticulous limestone work are wonderful to view and examine. Of course, there is nothing better than relaxing in the house during a thunderstorm. The rain hitting the stone coated steel roof and watching the storm roll by through the windows, it's almost as if you are out in the storm. Wright had the special gift of being able to bring the outdoors inside his homes and the Elam house is no exception.


based on 14 traveler reviews

Frank Lloyd Wright overnight rental - The Elam House
average rating of 4.928571 based on 14 reviews

A beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright Home

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at the Elam House over the 4th of July weekend to celebrate our 24th Wedding Anniversary. We thoroughly loved the experience. Peter, the owner was a gracious host and provided a wonderful tour of the main house. We loved hearing about his life growing up in the Elam House. The guest space was beautiful and peaceful. We enjoyed walking throughout the neighborhood and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Old Mill Restaurant (Peter's suggestion). This is such a unique and special opportunity to be surrounded by FLW architecture, not to be missed!

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A great getaway.

  • 5 of 5

We had a great trip. We didn't know what to expect and we were suprised at every turn. I would recommend the house to fans of Frank Lloyd Wright's homes or anyone else looking for something special and timeless.

  • Submitted: Jun 29, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Frank Lloyd Wright (Elam House) - Wonderful experience

  • 5 of 5

We had the thrill of a lifetime when we stayed overnight in the Elam House in Austin Minnesota. Peter and his young son were perfect hosts. We visited with Peter in the living room of the home while enjoying a fire in the huge fireplace and the lights of the family Christmas tree. Peter shared many stories about growing up in the home and the tour he gave us of the house was very informative. The guest space was very comfortable and you have got to love all the windows and built-ins. The guest bathroom is original and the faucets are really unique. There were many books and videos about FLW available for us to enjoy and the letters from the original homeowners to FLW were most interesting. I'd highly recommend staying here. Peter also recommended that we try the Old Mill Restaurant and we weren't disappointed.

  • Submitted: Dec 13, 2014
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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An enriching FLW experience

  • 5 of 5

Every year for my husband’s birthday I take him on a FLW adventure striving to stay overnight in a FLW design. I was excited to learn about the Elam home as it is just a short drive from our home. We thoroughly enjoyed staying in the Elam House and meeting Peter, a very gracious host. The home is in excellent condition on a beautiful property. The guest quarters were much bigger than I expected, very comfortable and welcoming. We have stayed in many FLW designs and have never had the opportunity to speak to the owner or anyone that had lived in the home directly before – this made it a much more enriching experience. FLW fans will not be disappointed. We look forward to returning!

  • Submitted: Oct 28, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Springfield, IL, US

Fantastic Stay in a Wright House

  • 5 of 5

Our stay at the Elam House was a great experience. It's not the first of his houses we've stayed in, but each is unique. The living room area is large, with a typically huge fireplace. The bedroom is also large, as is the bathroom (which brings back memories of the 50's). The kitchen is small but with everything that is needed. There is a nice patio area to enjoy if the weather is nice. And when Peter opens the hallway door that connects to the main house, it's amazing! His tour of the main house adds so much to the stay. We saw everything, including the original furnace. It is great to talk with someone who grew up in the house. I'd recommend a night here to all Frank Lloyd Wright fans.

  • Submitted: Oct 14, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Columbus, OH USA

Right Wright Write

  • 5 of 5

Our 6th Wright overnight was well worth the drive from Ohio (well, actually from WI where my wife and I were visiting family) for our 36th anniversary . The house is uniquely Wright and the owner/host is extremely amenable and willing to share both information and hospitality. Unfortunately, few built-ins and no Wright furniture, but lots of interesting angles and big fire places. Of all the FLW "living museums" we've stayed in, we most recommend the Palmer House, but Elam House also very worthwhile.

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for the review. We enjoyed meeting you and were glad you liked The Elam House. Although Mr. Wright never designed any furniture for the Elam House, we do have original Elam furniture including a large coffee table and couch in the guest living room and the double key board Hammond Organ in the main living room. As for built-ins, there is a sitting area next to the main living room fireplace, lots of built in cabinets, pocket doors and a fold down table with extending leg supports in the guest living room. We also have copies of letters going back and forth between the Elam's and Mr. Wright during the design and construction phase of the house. These are in the Guest House information manual. We are glad you came and hope to see you again some day.
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Nearest Airport
5 Miles
Austin Municipal Airport (AUM)
Nearest Barpub
2 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Ramsey Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Sterling Cafe
Nearest Ski
70 Miles
Welch Village - Red Wing, MN
Nearest Beach
30 Miles
Beaver Lake
Car: necessary

The Elam House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is located in Austin, Minnesota, Home of the world famous Hormel Foods Corporation.

SPAM Museum (closed while moving to new location until Sept. 2016) - Guests are encouraged to Tour the world famous SPAM Museum. The SPAM Museum features audios, videos and displays depicting the rich 123 year history of the Hormel Foods Corporation. The self-guided museum tour is free, interactive, educational and fun for all ages.

Hormel Historic Home - In addition to the SPAM Museum, tour the Hormel Historic Home which will open a window into the life of the George A. Hormel family. The 1871 home is where Hormel lived with his wife and son when he founded Hormel Foods, Inc. Now restored to early 1900s decor, the 14-room home is open for self-guided tours.

J.C. Hormel Nature Center - Cross Country Ski or enjoy the wildlife at the J. C. Hormel Nature Center. This is a 507 acre center which features hardwoods, restored prairie, ponds, pine forests and Dobbins Creek. Ten miles of hiking and cross country ski trials, as well as a one-third mile paved trail. There is also a three story observation tower, canoe rentals and cross country ski rentals available for use on site.

Shooting Star Bike Trail - Go for a bike ride on the Shooting Star Bike Trail.

Belle Paddle Boat - Go for a boat ride on East Side Lake on the 'Belle' paddle boat.

Paramount Theatre - Take in a movie or a play at the Historic Paramount Theatre. The Paramount Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, originally opened September 14, 1929 and was designed for stage theatre and first run movies. It is just one of a few Atmospheric Theatres remaining in Minnesota. The Theatre was designed to represent being in the courtyard of a quaint Spanish village with twinkling stars and rolling clouds overhead.

Sola Fide Observatory - Enjoy star gazing at the Sola Fide Observatory. This observatory is located on three acres of land, donated to Austin by a local doctor in 1991. Inside the 12 foot ash dome is a 10-inch refractor telescope with a five-inch refractor mounted on the top. The facility is open to the public when volunteers are available to show visitors constellations and other celestial bodies.

Ice Skating - Go ice skating on our backyard rink or at Riverside or Packer arena or one of the many outdoor rinks in town.

Feel free to take a walk, bike or roller blade in our quiet residential neighborhood. If you bring a canoe, you could launch it nearby (about a block away) and paddle down turtle creek.

These are just a few of the attractions/activities that Austin has to offer. However, the main attraction for our guests, of course, is staying at the Elam Guest House! Lounge in the guest living room and take in a video on Frank Lloyd Wright. Or just read a book or a magazine while having a cup of tea or coffee by the fireplace. Cook your own meal in our fully equipped kitchen or dine out at one of Austin's fine restaurants. Don't forget that we provide a tour of the entire house in addition to the guest area as part of your stay. We hope you will enjoy looking at every nook and cranny of our beautiful home.


Rates & Availability

Lake Mills House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Labor Day 2016
Sep 4 2016 - Sep 6 2016
2 night minimum stay
Nov 1 2016 - Nov 23 2016
1 night minimum stay
Thanksgiving 2016
Nov 24 2016 - Nov 26 2016
2 night minimum stay
Fall & Winter
Nov 27 2016 - Dec 22 2016
1 night minimum stay
Christmas 2017
Dec 23 2016 - Dec 26 2016
2 night minimum stay
Fall & Winter 2
Dec 27 2016 - Dec 30 2016
1 night minimum stay
New Years 2017
Dec 31 2016 - Jan 2 2017
2 night minimum stay
Fall & Winter 3
Jan 3 2017 - Mar 1 2017
1 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Rates are subject to change without notice until confirmed. 2 night minimum for holidays. Holiday rates in the summer season $300.00 To make a reservation, please visit our website at To purchase a GIFT CERTIFICATE, send Peter an email at If you have any questions, please call Peter at 507-438-9503. We do not accept credit cards. Thank you!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Minnesota House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 820 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Village ...
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , 2 sinks
  • Private in-suite bathroom including shower, bathtub, 2 sinks and toilet.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 2 sleep sofa /futon , One Futon and One Air Mattress
  • The guest bedroom has a queen size bed, in-suite bath, shower, toilet and two sinks. There is also a walk-in closet. With 7 swing out windows, Frank Lloyd Wright brings the outdoors inside very nicely in this room.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • skiing
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
If you are an amateur radio operator, you might be interested in knowing that the owner has a radio station in the home which includes a Kenwood TS 940-S AT and Kenwood TL-922A amplifier. The owner is in the process of erecting a 70 foot tower which will support several HF and VHF antennas. At this point, the only antennas available are an 80 meter dipole, a 5 element 10 meter beam mounted at 70 feet and a VHF antenna at 80 feet. The owner is a contester; call sign KF0GV (Extra Class). We welcome guest operators. We also have some good duck and pheasant hunting nearby. The owner is an avid hunter and could direct you to one of the hunting lakes, sloughs or hunting areas nearby. Make sure you discuss this with Pete Plunkett well in advance of your stay. We also have a 35' X 60' Ice Rink in Winter. The owner is a former Austin High Varsity Hockey player and is one of the coaches for Daran Plunkett's mite hockey tea

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