usonian house
critical response
parallel movements
wright at the time
other works
usonia house: exterior
usonian house

o shelter Usonia’s citizens, Wright designed a series of appropriate housing schemes—the Usonian houses. Among the earliest to be built was the Rosenbaum House in 1939. Constructed for a college professor in Florence, Alabama, the Rosenbaum House is typically Usonian. Its single-story plan is divided into two wings—the more public living room on one side and the more private bedrooms on the other—which meet at a “service core“ comprising kitchen, bath and hearth. As in the Prairie Houses, the hearth is the metaphorical center of family life. The two wings of the house extend to embrace the generous garden

Wright experimented widely with the proper materials for his Usonian houses. The Rosenbaum House is built of brick and cypress and in later houses he experimented with various combinations of masonry and wood construction. The Rosenbaum House is heated through its floors, which are pigmented concrete slabs embedded with pipes carrying heated water.

“Most of these houses are beautiful. They are very sleek, they’re very elegant in terms of their detailing...” —Neil Levine, Architectural Historian
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