Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Frank Lloyd Wright House

The Pope-Leighey House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Do you ever pass somewhere on a regular route of yours and think you'd like to stop there? However you don't have time right then, so you think you'll stop next time. But then you don't. Well, that's what I've been doing for a while now when we visit my father-in-law. Five minutes from where he lives is a Frank Lloyd Wright house that piqued my curiosity every time I saw the sign for it. I finally satisfied this curiosity last Saturday when Ward and I visited the Pope-Leighey house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The house was completed in 1941 and was one of Wright's earlier houses built for the middle class. It was named for the two families that lived in it--The Loren Pope family and later, Robert Leighey and his wife. It was relocated to its present site by Mrs. Leighey in 1964 to save it from demolition due to highway expansion.

Screw head slots parallel to wood grain
The house has 1200 sq. ft., and Wright showcased his common theme of connecting to the earth by using natural materials of brick, glass, wood, and concrete.  He repeated rectangular shapes and cantilevering structures throughout the house tying everything together--including the furniture. He used compression (6'8" ceilings) and expansion (11' ceilings) to make rooms seem bigger. But what amazed me the most was the attention to detail. The screw heads were parallel to the grain of the wood they were in and the mortar between the bricks was different depths to emphasize different planes. I could go on and on about his design, but I now understand the hoopla surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture. 

I'm so happy we stopped, and I want to visit more of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses. In the meantime, I am thinking about the next place that I've been meaning to visit.

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But wait there's more!
Loren Pope is famous in his own right. He was an independent college placement counselor whose most famous book was Colleges that Change Lives. If you have anyone that is considering college, this book is a must read. Even if you aren't going to college anytime soon or already have been, reading about his college philosophies is still very interesting.