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Showing posts from June, 2008

House of Clay

The Frankoma house was designed by Bruce Goff for the founders of Frankoma Pottery, John and Grace Lee Frank. It was completed in 1956 with a great deal of the work being done by the Franks. We recently had the opportunity to tour this unique home and learn more about the history of Frankoma. Today Joniece and Donna Frank call the house their home, and work hard to preserve it and their parents' memory. A recent Tulsa World article announced they were offering tours and listed a phone number to call. Needless to say, we had to call. Our tour ended up lasting over two hours. Turns out, seeing a unique house was the least we'd accomplished. We were treated to a unique insight into the history of Frankoma, the Frank family and the unique architecture of Bruce Goff. We left with a greater appreciation for the artistry of these pottery makers, and the unique interaction this family had with the architect who designed their home. The House The Frank Home is perched along

Roadside Moderne

I see a lot of modern-looking structures along the highway. There's probably a higher concentration of unique designs out on the road because of the desire to catch your attention as you whiz past. Some of the most interesting roadside attractions are also the most mundane. Consider the lowly highway rest stop. Many of our state's rest areas don't even offer travelers a rest room . But a few rest stops found along Oklahoma interstates feature picnic tables under stylized tepees. I've always admired this clean and simple form made of nothing more than three sticks and a circle. Another mid-century solution to shelter stylish picnickers was concrete. Lots of concrete. I spotted a good example of structural concrete shelters at a city park in Enid. These umbrella-like canopies, and their single support, are made completely of concrete. Public works projects are quite often accessorized with the latest look. This simple little shelter overlooks Broken Bow Lake and

The Recent Past

The Bruce Goff House in Vinita

We were recently surprised to learn about a Goff-designed home just an hour away from Tulsa in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita is probably best known to OK Mod readers as the home of the Glass House on I-44, also known as (shudder) the World's Largest Largest McDonalds . Anywho, turned out the Goff house was on the market, and the owner was more than happy to let us have a look around. We took a short drive up the turnpike one Sunday afternoon to meet the realtor, snap some pictures, ask some questions and enjoy another one of Bruce Goff's unique creations. The home is known as the Adams House and was built in 1961. The 3,700 square foot home is arranged in a circular floor plan with a large sunken "conversation pit" at the center. Rising up from this pit is a large metal fireplace, its chimney surrounded by skylights, which dominates the entire house. Rooms surround the perimeter with folding accordion doors acting as walls. To maintain some semblance of privacy an inner

The World Museum

The widening of I-44 through Tulsa will soon claim another mid-century building (see Modern Homes Make Way for I-44 ). This unusual landmark near Peoria, once known as the World Museum, is being emptied in preparation for demolition. The concrete complex was built in 1963 by the Osborn Ministries as a museum and "Interstate Temple." Self-proclaimed minister, T. L. Osborn, and his wife, Daisy, traveled the world as Christian missionaries and collected art and artifacts on their journeys. The unusual La Concha-esque building housed their partial collection and distracted motorists touring along the new Skelly Bypass (aka I-44). The exterior of the building is adorned with maps of the world's continents. In its heyday there was a good deal more- a giant outline of Jesus was on one wall. The inscription below it, "REX," provided one of my earliest Latin lessons when I asked Dad why that building had my name on it. There was also a large globe that once stood out fr

Visit to the Prairie Chicken House

This unique house on the edge of Norman, Oklahoma is known to most as the prairie chicken house. Designed by Herb Greene in 1960, he preferred to call it simply the Prairie House .  Thanks to the  Prairie House Preservation Society  (PHPS) it is now possible for the public to experience one of Oklahoma's most unusual architectural treasures.