Goff's Signature Work in Shambles

We're finally seeing the true status of the iconic Bavinger House.

This aerial video was shot from Oklahoma City's News 9 helicopter and clearly shows the spire is toppled and the roof has partially collapsed.



The Bavinger House website now states the home is closed due to severe storm damage. Reports from architecture groups on Facebook indicate the owner may be willing to allow a photographer inside to document the damage. It was also reported he will be posting information about the house on a new blog.

For those unfamiliar with this unusual building, or this unusual turn of events, I'd recommend reading Masterpiece in Peril by Lynne Rostochil. I've also posted more photos of the Bavinger House from an architectural tour sponsored by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 2009.

Video courtesy of KWTV-Oklahoma City.

Bavinger House is No More

Rumors began circulating Monday afternoon that the Bavinger House in Norman, Oklahoma had been demolished. Conflicting reports have been circulating today and confirmation has been difficult due to the heavily wooded area where the house is located.

Bob Bavinger, the son and steward of the Bruce Goff-designed house, contacted area galleries and asked them to remove any flyers or brochures related to the Bavinger House.

Shane Hood with Modern Tulsa contacted modernisti in the Oklahoma City area to confirm the rumors. Lynne Rostochil was able to contact Bob Bavinger who claimed the iconic structure was "torn down and hauled away" sometime last week. However, this morning Terri Sadler is reporting she can see the roof and support cables, which would indicate the house is intact.

Late Tuesday reports that indicate the house may have been compromised surfaced on Facebook. We'll continue posting updates on Facebook as we learn more.

Since 2008 a number of efforts had been undertaken to raise funds to restore and maintain the Bavinger House. The tours and fund raisers have met with modest success. Currently the website is still active with an ironic one-word message. Closed.

McModern

Weary travelers making a pit stop on the Muskogee Turnpike may think they've stumbled into a W Hotel. Alas, it's only a McDonalds.

As a child these travel plazas held a science fiction-like fascination. Gaudy signs and futuristic architecture invited you into a world of tomorrow. The best part of any road trip was the rest stop. Like an oasis on the endless ribbon of concrete, the travel plaza provided a much needed break from the monotony of transcontinental travel by car.

The new 15,000 square foot travel plaza, located in Wagoner County, replaced the existing convenience store and Mickey D from the Seventies. Both businesses are now located in one building which opened in April 2011. The decor is open and contemporary, what I'd describe as West Elm-ish. We especially liked the bright red Emeco 111 Navy chairs molded from recycled Coke bottles. Even the toilets are hip, featuring sleek waterless urinals and Dyson Airblade hand dryers.

Another nice touch is the artwork in the center of the restaurant. Four photos of Oklahoma scenes by Muskogee dentist David Jones are displayed on segmented panels. It's a nice touch that adds some local color.

It's no world of tomorrow. But it's nice to see a little effort spent on making it special.

Streamline Overlook

Here's another great example of state park architecture in Oklahoma.

The Wister Dam was built in 1948 and this cool little structure provides a great view of the lake from the shade of its swoopy concrete awning. Originally offering restrooms for weary travelers, they've been locked long ago. But it's still a great little roadside gem.

Wister is located in Southeastern Oklahoma between Poteau and Heavener. The lake offers camping sites and cabins at the state park, not to mention nature trails and a boat ramp. More info on Lake Wister State Park is available on the OK Travel website.

Here's a slideshow with a few more photos from our visit...

Not Too Modern

"This is a very modern house..."

Had to share this odd little snippet from a children's book from the Forties.

Don't you love the second line? I mean let's not exert any influence here. Just in case you're unsure, we'll be damn sure to let you know: You shouldn't like it!

Oh, and I'd say that's about the coolest little bungalow we've ever seen!

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