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Rare desk designed by Louis Kahn heads to auction block

The starchitect designed it for the Morton Weiss House

This desk was designed by Louis Kahn for the Morton Weiss House.
Courtesy of Freeman’s

Louis Kahn is known for his architectural masterpieces scattered all over the world, from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California to the nine residential homes he designed in and around Philly. But a Louis Kahn line of furniture isn’t something the world ever had the chance to experience.

That’s what makes this news so good: A rare desk designed by Kahn for a local family will be auctioned off by Freeman’s in October.

The desk was designed by Kahn for the award-winning Morton and Lenore Weiss House in East Norriton Township. The stone home, designed by Kahn and his partner Anne Tyng, went onto win an AIA Gold Medal Award in 1950.

The Weiss family lived at this home until their death in 2004. Much of the furniture was then given to relatives; this particular desk went to a cousin named David Wenger and his wife Joan, who have lived with the desk ever since.

But it wasn’t until they saw architecture drawings of the Weiss House in The Houses of Louis Kahn book that they realized that Kahn had designed the desk himself.

The house, meanwhile, has been on and off the market for months; at one point it was at risk of demolition until neighbors rallied to preserve it. Although all of the furniture has been given away, a black and white mural by Kahn and Tyng remains in the living room.

The auction takes place at Freeman’s on Sunday, October 8 at 12 p.m.