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Photo: Melson House

56 S. River Heights Drive, Mason City, Iowa.

Designed for Joshua Melson, co-developer of Rock Crest-Rock Glen.

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he site of the Joshua Melson House is the only place is America where both Wright and Griffin designed a house for the same client. Wright's design for Melson later became the Isabel Roberts House, whereas Griffin's design became part of his greatest American achievement - Rock Crest Rock Glen.

he design of the Melson House was Griffin's attempt to completely integrate a house with its surroundings. Griffin created this masterpiece along Willow Creek in Mason City, Iowa, two decades before Wright's design for Fallingwater. The house rises three stories out of the creek wall and is capped with concrete keystones. The patterns in the keystones at one time continued along the wooden mullions of the window design, giving the appearance of sun rays. But, unfortunately, most of the patterned windows were replaced with clear glass.

he house has a two-car, drive-through garage. Joshua Melson had the first car in the county so he needed this modern convenience. He was also an amateur pilot and architect.

n asymmetrical entryway is on the first floor of the house with the front and back doors directly opposite each other. The living room and dining room wrap around a central fireplace. They are connected by a balcony overlooking the creek. The lower level not only has a recreation room but it opens onto a side tea terrace. The bedroom on the top floor also opens onto a balcony.

his private residence has recently undergone a complete restoration that include adding modern amenities such as a whirlpool bath and a central audio system.

W.H.Emery House-1903 Ralph Griffin House-1909 Adolph Mueller House-1906 Stinson Memorial Library-1913 Joshua Melson House-1912

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