DESIGN-WISE, THERE’S FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND NO ONE ELSE.
At least that is the opinion of Mary Peacock and Jonathan Larsen, whose dream house by the
banks of Vermont’s Mad River is unequivocally informed by the hallmarks of the great 20th-
century American architect.
Peacock and Larsen, who were married on the patio of the Wright-style house in 2014, are
both retired journalists with distinguished careers. She was a founding editor of Ms.
magazine in 1972, did editing stints at Lear’s, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mirabella, was part of the launch
team of InStyle, and started the style section at The Village Voice. He was Saigon bureau chief
for Time in 1970 and ’ 71, the editor of New Times until the magazine folded in 1979, and, from
1989 to 1994, editor of The Village Voice. The two began dating in 2000 and today divide their
time between Vermont and New York.
“I have always been a huge fan [of Wright’s], especially of his reverence for wood,” says
Larsen, who believes that if he had not been a journalist, he most likely would have become
an architect. “We were publishing information about solar houses in New Times,” he says. “I
Indeed, his relationship with architect
Bill Maclay of William Maclay Architects in
Waitsfield, Vermont, who designed the house
for the couple, dates to 1965. “Bill Maclay and
I worked together on a hippie house down the
road,” says Larsen, who bought the more than
600 acres — where both that house and the
new house are located — when he first came
to Vermont to ski in 1964.
Wright’s stylistic language was half of
what drove the design. Energy efficiency in a
cold, fuel-hungry part of the world was the
other major factor. “From the very beginning,
they wanted something in the style of Frank
Lloyd Wright,” says Maclay. “Wright’s prin-
ciples, which root a house so that it is open to
the entrance hall is at the center of the
house (above left). The long hallway off
it leads to the bedroom wing, while the
living room/dining room/kitchen wing is
in the opposite direction. Homeowners
Mary Peacock and Jonathan Larsen (left)
were married on the patio.