A Rare Frank Lloyd Wright House in Usonia, New York Just Hit the Market

Houlihan Lawrence
Houlihan Lawrence

The Guggenheim Museum isn’t Frank Lloyd Wright’s only distinctive building inspired by circular shapes. In the 1940s, the architect was recruited to create the master plan for Usonia, an affordable—albeit tiny—planned community in Pleasantville, New York. One of the three houses in Usonia that Wright himself designed recently hit the market, and for a cool $1.5 million, it can be yours.

Usonian houses were Wright's modest, single-family residences, a trademark style he first adopted in Wisconsin during the 1930s. While affordable, they were also all unique. The cylindrical Sol Friedman House, built between 1948 and 1949, was one of the Pleasantville community's first homes.

Wright designed the three-bedroom residence, also known as “Toyhill," to sit atop a rocky hill. Characteristic of his style, the two-story stone and concrete structure melds seamlessly into its natural surroundings, with large windows, Wright's signature Cherokee Red floors, stone walls, and built-in furniture. Adjacent to the main house, there's a concrete pedestal carport that looks akin to a giant mushroom or flying saucer.

You can view some pictures of the Sol Friedman House below, or check out the listing here.

A photograph looking up the driveway of the Sol Friedman House
Houlihan Lawrence

An exterior view of the back of the house
Houlihan Lawrence

A view of the living room of the house
Houlihan Lawrence

The Sol Friedman House features a stone fireplace, custom-built furniture, and Cherokee Red floors.
Houlihan Lawrence

The Sol Friedman House, or “Toyhill,” one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first homes built for his Usonia community in Pleasantville, New York.
Houlihan Lawrence

The Sol Friedman House living room is filled with wooden chairs, a stone table, and short shelves.
Houlihan Lawrence

The Sol Friedman House features a carport that looks like a giant mushroom.
Houlihan Lawrence

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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The Tallest Cemetery Monument in New Orleans Was Built Out of Spite

baldeaglebluff, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
baldeaglebluff, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Spite has motivated many construction projects, from a 40-foot-tall fence in California to an 8-foot-wide home in Massachusetts. But when it comes to pettiness, few structures can beat Moriarty Monument in New Orleans's Metairie Cemetery. Reaching 80 feet high, the memorial to Mary Moriarty was an excuse for her widower to show off his wealth to everyone who rejected him.

New Orleans is famous for its cemeteries, which feature above-ground mausoleums. The soil in the region is too wet and swampy to dig traditional 6-foot graves, so instead, bodies are interred at the same level as the living. The most impressive of these graveyards may be Metairie Cemetery on Metairie Road and Pontchartrain Boulevard. Built in 1872, it lays claim to the most above-ground monuments and mausoleums in the city, the tallest of which is the Moriarty Monument.

The granite tomb was commissioned by Daniel A. Moriarty, an Irish immigrant who moved to New Orleans with little money in the mid-1800s. It was there he met his wife, Mary Farrell, and together they started a successful business and invested their new income into real estate. The couple was able to build a significant fortune this way, but Moriarty struggled to shake off his reputation as a poor foreigner. The city's upper class refused to accept him into their ranks—something Moriarty never got over. After his wife died in 1887, he came up with an idea that would honor her memory and hopefully tick off the pretentious aristocrats at the same time.

By 1905, he had constructed her the grandest memorial he could afford. In addition to the towering steeple, which is a topped with a cross, the site is adorned with four statues at the base. These figures represent faith, hope, charity, and memory, while the monument itself is meant to be a not-so-virtuous middle finger to all those who insulted its builder.

Gerard Schoen, community outreach director for Metairie Cemetery, told WGNO ABC, “The reason Daniel wanted his property to be the tallest was so his wife could look down and snub every 'blue blood' in the cemetery for all eternity." More than a century later, it still holds that distinction.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]