Oskaloosa, Iowa Frank Lloyd Wright Lamberson Usonian House

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peterm
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Oskaloosa, Iowa Frank Lloyd Wright Lamberson Usonian House

Postby peterm » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:51 pm

we recently purchased the lamberson house in oskaloosa, iowa.

HOUSE HISTORY:
In 2004, the Iowa Chapter of the American Institute of Architects named the Lamberson House one of the eight homes included on the list of Iowa’s 50 most significant buildings of the 20th century. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. This 1600 square-foot house is on 2.3 acres and expresses Wright’s interest in the horizontal landscape through the use of wide overhangs and a low-pitched roof. It has three bedrooms and one and one-half baths. The living area contains a 20-foot built-in seat and the central kitchen is illuminated by a large skylight. Building materials are primarily brick and redwood. Although the house design is based on a four-foot square floor grid, the use of 60/120-degree angles for other building elements eliminates most square corners. Two of the four skylights were replaced when new roofing was put on in 2006.

here it is:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/31185895@N ... 794576920/
Last edited by peterm on Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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moderns-r-us
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Postby moderns-r-us » Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:22 pm

Welcome to the board. I would love to see your house sometime.
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peterm
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Postby peterm » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:23 pm

well, kansas city is not that far from oskaloosa!

we are just in the process of closing the deal on the house and are offering it for rent. we are not in a position now to leave l.a., so we will rent it until we will be able to spend more time there. it needs minor restoration but is totally livable now. the house also comes with plans for furniture which was designed by wright specifically for the house, which we intend to have built.

wright was in his eighties when he designed this, but he still was at the top of his game.
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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:39 pm

what an awesome plan! perfect interior. classic usonion.

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Postby ch » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:49 am

Peterm,

Congrats on the purchase. How great to own one designed by the master. Just wondering as to what are your ultimate plans for the house. Will you reside there or are you thinking of running it as a "Wright by the Night" kind of place?

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Postby peterm » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:59 am

our plans for the house could be divided into short term and long term:
the first priority is to find someone who could be a caretaker to watch the property while we continue our lives here in l.a. we then want to restore as much as is required, (mostly built ins, shelves, etc.) but also larger tasks such as bringing the fireplace back to its original design. then we will build all of the original free standing furniture pieces which were designed specifically for the house. (wright houses start to sing with his furniture). this phase would include hassocks, modular dining tables, benches, coffee tables, bed headboards, and three of the famous origami chairs. by the time this is finished, we are hoping to be able to spend half of our time there and half here in l.a. the idea of a wright bed and breakfast-vacation rental would work after all of the details are correct: wright enthusiasts are a finicky lot!

it's a big project, but it will be worth the effort. the old man could still design in his eighties!
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ch
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Postby ch » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:27 pm

Sounds wonderful. Over the years we too have considered a similar plan. We once viewed the Meyer House in Michigan (a solar hemicycle) and the Haynes house (a Usonian) in Indiana, when each was for sale, with the same idea so it's interesting to hear about someone who is "living the fantasy".

Please keep us posted as to your progress and insights along the way. Best of luck!

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Postby peterm » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:20 pm

i haven't seen the meyers house (i will look it up right now), but the haynes house looks like it is in great shape, and mr. herber (sp) has done a great job with furniture and landscaping.

again, the first job is finding the right person to live in the lamberson house while we are not there. do you know anyone?
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Postby donsof1 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:34 am

Peterm
Hi... what a small world... I live in Iowa and have admired that neighborhood for some time. I have family within 25 miles of Osky, and my grandparents are buried there. I live in eastern Iowa now, but travel there to see my parents. I will do a drive by next time!

There are so few people that get the mid-modern thing here that you would be shocked. I started collecting modern a few years back, and these appetites do grow!

Should you ever wish to have some local advice... email me, donsof at yahoo

good luck

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Postby peterm » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:48 pm

hello donsof1-

yeah, osky as the locals say. did you know that there are two 1951 frank lloyd wright houses in town? for a place with the population of 11,000, that is astonishing. there are also a lot of flw influenced designs in the surrounding neighborhood, some architect designed and very interesting. i would love to hear more about "osky", since we live in l.a. and have only spent three days there. where is your family located?
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Postby donsof1 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:06 pm

Hi
Sorry I have been away, from this site, for so long. My parents live in Lovilia, and I attended schools in Albia. Interesting neighborhood for sure. I took a drive around the eastern side of Osky last spring, out of curiosity. I will ask some people I know about that area of town. I plan on taking pictures as well.

Don

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What a Terrific Space!

Postby Bosa Nova » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:52 pm

I just had to chime in and wish you well on acquiring your new home. :D

I sometimes am envious, but I realize that I am always thankful when a great home finds worthy owners who not only appreciate but truly understand what they have.

I have not yet lived in an architect designed home but I have toured through many. I always feel refreshed and just Happy after spending time in a well designed space, and especially a home.

I am sure your home will bring much happiness to anyone who has the opportunity to visit, and a vicarious joy to the many devotes of design, knowing that this gem is in good hands.

:cheers:

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Postby donsof1 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:30 pm

Hey Pete
I drove by the house over thanksgiving, it looked great. I told my family about it, and they were loving the pictures you posted. I was going to take some pics, but it was late in the day and the good light was gone. It so dark and cold out here this time of year. You would have to be really in love with this home to live here. Is the house rented right now? Let me know if you need any advice on things, or want a watcher of your asset.

The good news is its a very safe place to live, and the spring and fall seasons are great. There are good reasons to live in a place with near zero crime, pollution, and corruption!

Don

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Postby peterm » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:21 pm

we just returned from our second stay at the lamberson house. we ripped out the carpet and started the clean up of the red concrete floors in the living room. also, the second installment of wright designed furniture arrived (benches and two modular dining tables)

carpet removal:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31185895@N ... 011920866/

pics of furniture and floors with a couple of exterior shots thrown in:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31185895@N ... 015372072/
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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:24 pm

nice. I love the way the furniture works with the house.

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Postby jesgord » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:36 pm

You are doing a beautiful job! The furniture looks great and removing the grout from the floor must have been lots of fun :roll:

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Postby SCHOLZMCM » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:20 pm

Great house! I am jealous.

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Postby peterm » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:50 pm

Some recent pics from the Wright Lamberson house in Oskaloosa:

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:05 pm

cool stuff. love them interiors

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Postby classic form » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:23 am

Thanks for keeping us in the loop over here at LL. I've been following your progress at WC and must say I'm impressed with what you have done over such a long distance. I have a hard time orchestrating renovation living in the middle of it let alone 2 time zones away.

Looks great...are you still going to make this available for one night stands when it's complete or are you having second thoughts?

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Postby peterm » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:03 am

I doubt if it will ever truly be finished, but we still talk about all of the possibilities in regards to the use of the house. If we can afford to keep it just as a second home, that would probably be the best scenario, and maybe rent it out to a few people here and there.

If is weren't for Stafford Norris 111 in Minneapolis, I really don't know where we would be with the restoration. He is much closer than us (Altadena, Ca.)

How's everything in Kalamazoo? Are there any more recent pics of your house?

And lastly, did the McCartney house sell yet?
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Postby classic form » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:05 pm

McCartney is still available at 279k. Maybe you should start a collection:)

Our house is coming along...roof is being replaced this summer to start in a couple weeks. Then its plaster repair and painting, outside brick repointing, driveway replacement etc, etc.

PM sent.

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Postby egads » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:31 pm

"A man's home is his hassle"

But of course perterm it has turned to pleasure. As Joel Silver says:
"It's like painting with a checkbook"

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Postby moderns-r-us » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:59 pm

Would still love to see the house sometime.

Furniture looks great!
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peterm
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Postby peterm » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:16 pm

November 19th 8:00 A.M.:
Image

Image

kitchen:
Image
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Postby Mod' i-fy » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:16 pm

All of his homes has always been a bit to dark (interior) for me. Beautiful home regardless though, but aren't all of Franks designs.
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Postby robbhouston » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:57 am

Awesome house! I love all the custom and built in furniture.

We visited a FLW usonion, the Rosenbaum house...

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8473

In the above thread, there are a couple of posts regarding the bright, and dark, aspects of using so much wood and/or brick surfaces inside. Thankfully, the usonions also had lots of glass.

Again, beautiful place. Congrats, peterm!

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peterm
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Postby peterm » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:53 pm

happy new year from iowa!

some pics from boxing day, 2010, after a nice bit of snow on christmas day:

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7:00 a.m. dawn with blue light on the snow:

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Postby classic form » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:18 am

Beautiful...looks like that drive was hand shoveled, how's your back?

peterm
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Postby peterm » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:40 am

my back has seen better days, but that's exactly why we pay a neighbor to plow the driveway now and then. it would be a massive undertaking to shovel the whole driveway by hand, but maybe that's what jack lamberson did...

http://www.rleffingwell.com/photography ... tract.html
on second thought, since he owned the ford dealership in town, maybe he used an early fifties ford tractor to do it.
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