$17.5 million Hill Country estate designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protege flows onto market

A breathtaking 30-acre retreat in the Hill Country that was designed by an apprentice of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright just hit the market for $17.5 million.

Adjacent to the Pedernales River, the 12,002-acre Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge in Spicewood offers a main house and guest cottage. The property comprises six bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, two partial bathrooms, a media hall, a spa room, and Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchen appliances. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the estate is a private grotto accented by a natural limestone cliff and equipped with a negative-edge pool, waterfall, and sundeck.

The listing says the “unique residential compound allows relaxation and recreation in the utmost privacy and seclusion.”

“The home is an experience and artwork in itself, designed to take you on a journey,” says the listing agent, Susan Barringer of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. “The walls are covered in cork, and provide [a] blank canvas throughout for the avid collector and artist,” she adds. “An entertainer’s dream space with elegant seating perched from above is ideal for enjoying live concerts from below.”

Well-known Austin architect John Covert Watson designed the Spicewood estate. Watson’s most iconic property in the Austin area may be the so-called Sand Dollar House at Lake Travis, which went on the market last year for $2.2 million. Watson studied under Frank Lloyd Wright when Wright was working on New York City’s Guggenheim Museum in the 1950s.

The listing refers to the retreat as “a superlative expression of the ‘organic architecture’ philosophy.”

“Resembling a deck of cards splayed out across the Hill Country landscape, the aerial design of both the guest and main house make an iconic visual statement,” the listing says. “An architectural feat, its distinctive hyperbolic paraboloid roof design, desert masonry, steel, carved Ipe footings and details, and locally harvested wood support copious expanses of glass. All combine to create a grounded yet transparent interior-exterior synthesis.”

Watson isn’t the Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge’s only claim to fame. Over the years, the property has hosted concerts by an array of local music legends, including Billy Joe Shaver, The Flatlanders, Kinky Friedman, and Pat Green.

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