It’s surprising to find so much clutter inside the Farnsworth House. Not actual stuff, but drama from the past and energy that’s out of whack. The unsettling circumstances during which this house was created are palpable. What’s especially heartbreaking about this feeling of turmoil is the fact that the project began as a wonderful collaboration between architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and client Dr. Edith Farnsworth, who shared a vision for creating a house – Mies’ first residential project in the U.S. – that “would become the prototype of new and important elements of American architecture,” said Farnsworth.
We arrive on a spectacular August day with a sapphire blue sky and soft breeze. At the Visitor Center, we’re handed OFF! towelettes and told, “The mosquitos are extra brutal today.” I wipe on the toxic suit of armor and notice that it melts the polish on my fingernails. Does Mies’ spirit object to my application of ornamentation?