Alsop House

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Education Professor
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Alsop House

Post by Education Professor »

Does anyone have any photos or other info about the Alsop residence in Oskaloosa, Iowa? From Storrer's book, the Alsop house seems to be a most interesting and unusual Usonian design.

Thanks,

EP

SDR
Posts: 20382
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Image

Image

Image Alan Weintraub photo

Palli Davis Holubar
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:14 am
Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Alsop House is also on my list of possible perf houses. The gallery appears to be prime for perfs but looking thru my scanned Monograph images I don't see it. My library is closed until 1/5/09 to doublecheck for an entry. Means either it isn't in Monographs or there is no indication of perfs. At any rate, I have to rely on someone who knows the building to confirm design was implemented with perfs. I too, would appreciate info about Alsop House.

Palli Davis Holubar
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:14 am
Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

interesting legged hassock- would like info on that also...SDR- images from THE HOUSES or MID-CENTURY? or other?

SDR
Posts: 20382
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Color from "FLLW Mid-Century Modern" -- interior from "Prairie School in Iowa" -- Storrer plan.

Education Professor
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

SDR...many thanks for the wonderful interior/exterior photos of Alsop as well as the floor plan....it is a most interesting design.

Palli....it does appear that that gallery is prime for the perf boards.

I believe Alsop was featured in the Feb 1959 edition of House & Home as well....

EP

peterm
Posts: 6303
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

the little town of oskaloosa, ia. (pop. 11,000) has two frank lloyd wright houses, alsop and lamberson. the two families were close friends, and asked wright to design the houses at approximately the same time. the alsop family owned a successful department store and the lambersons the ford dealership in town.

the alsop house is lovely but some unfortunate events have made it difficult to bring the house back to it's full glory. a previous owner tried to save money through a winter, and did not leave the radiant system on. the pipes froze and burst, causing major damage not only to the radiant system, but the slab itself, which slid a tiny bit, enough to break windows and and make the others inoperable. the owner at that time worked for pella windows, which is located 15 miles from oskaloosa. he tried to get pella to make and install new windows, but he found it too expensive, so instead pella gave him a "deal" on white vinyl windows which he had installed throughout the entire house. in addition, there was some sort of problem with the cantilevered roof entrance, so his brilliant solution was to put a gabled roof on top of the cantilever. this of course, added even more weight to the roof and caused damage to the other end of the cantilever!

as far as perfs go, i don't remember seeing any, but i only saw the house from the exterior, and caught just a glimpse of the back of the house.
Last edited by peterm on Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

peterm
Posts: 6303
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

exterior photos of alsop, august, 2008 are on their way...

Wrightgeek
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

peterm-

I visited Iowa last summer from here in Ohio, and of course Oskaloosa was one of our required stops. While we only saw the exterior of the two FLW houses, the windows on the Alsop house were hard to overlook, and in their current state they overwhelm the appearance of the exterior of the house.

Here's wishing the current owners the best in their efforts to reverse the damages caused by the short-sightedness of the previous owners.

SDR
Posts: 20382
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

peterm send along these photos of Alsop:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Dr. Peter Faukner
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Post by Dr. Peter Faukner »

I suspect what you are seeing is a permanently destroyed Wright Usonian house due to the owner. It will cost too much to restore the slab, gravity heating and re-install all proper windows and window doors versus resale value for that particular geographic area. The FLW Monograph has a beautiful terrace drawn (which was not built) off the stairs leading outside off the great room (in bottom/last pic).

No perforated windows in this masterpiece. Great room and BR wing face north while the gallery face south. I believe Wright therefore omitted the closed in perforated clearstory windows there to make up for lack of light due to solar orientation.

There were also over 90,000 bricks used in this opus. More than the local brick church in town. Cost of brick and labor runs about $1.09 per brick in the Midwest or $98,100.

The bottom photo is the very last you will ever see of a Wright house with that type of beautiful roof. Another Wright usonian had it Glenview, IL in the Chicago suburbs. The Carr house. An addition was put on to it.

These houses are, or already have, disappeared.

Education Professor
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

Many thanks to everyone for the information/photos about the Alsop house. I certainly wish the current owner the very best of luck with the ongoing restoration efforts. Alsop is a wonderful and unique Usonian design that is worthy of restoration.

Does anyone have any interior photos of the Alsop fireplaces (esp the one in the master bedroom)?

As noted in Storrer's book, the roofline of the Carr house in Glenview, IL, appears to be very similar to Alsop. Any photos or info about the Carr house that could be shared would be greatly appreciated.

Again, many thanks for the info....

EP

SDR
Posts: 20382
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

A Weintraub's photo of Carr:

Image

Dr. Peter Faukner
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Post by Dr. Peter Faukner »

For clarification, the Weintrub photo is of the addition. There is also another addition off the opposite end which used to look like Alsop’s beautiful roofline. Interesting fact, that this house used brick made out of concrete. Probably the only Wright house to do so which also cut down on cost.

Education Professor
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

In addition to supervising construction, did John deKoven Hill complete the working drawings for Alsop? Also, did Hill complete the working drawings and/or supervise construction of the Carr house in Gleview, IL?

EP

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