09 February 2010

Armstrong Residence II will be coming on the market

project: Armstrong Residence II, 1938
location: Oakland, Missouri
condition: excellent, somewhat modified
architect: Harris Armstrong, FAIA

This wonderful, truly one-of-a-kind home will be coming up for sale later this spring. I first heard this news through Ted Wight's blog St. Louis Style. He's posted several exterior and interior photographs of the house recently, one of which you can find here.

I will post more images, descriptions and discussion of this house that will help situate it in the contemporary architectural scene of the late 1930s. In addition, I'll relate the story of Frank Lloyd Wright's visit to the house to visit the Armstrongs as told to me by Louise Armstrong (Mrs. Harris Armstrong).

There are some elements of the International Style (white stucco and corner windows), but I would not generally think of it in those terms. The hipped roof and ornamental treatment of the copper fascias clearly suggest a strong Wrightian influence.

The house has a fundamentally eclectic, almost collage-like blending of styles, materials, forms and references. It has taken me many personal visits over many years and quite a bit of time, effort and thought to gain an appreciation for the complex and sometimes confounding ideas embodied in its design and construction.

This image above is taken from a Parents Magazine article of the early 1940s.  It was the first in a series of articles developed in cooperation with Architectural Forum Magazine in its "campaign to stimulate home building and remodeling".

Magazine article courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

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