I was lucky enough to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum house in Florence, Alabama recently. Always intrigued and enamored by Wright, the home did not disappoint. The Rosenbaum house has been called one of the purest examples of Usonian homes in America. Usonian refers to a group of about 60 family homes designed by Wright to improve the lifestyle of middle America in the 1950’s.
Taking a tour of the Rosenbaum house, you can easily see the lasting impact of his architecture on our modern-day home designs. The open floor concept, the indoor-outdoor living space, the natural lighting and solar heating…all of his innovative ideas have become staples in the American home. Throughout the tour, his apparent OCD attention to precise measurement and detail in his architecture was impressive to witness. At one point, the tour guide picked up a small end table in the den and placed it against the wall where it fit seamlessly into a 13’’ high groove. The end table would then function as another piece of furniture. It was like a Lego piece that fit perfectly. Even more impressive, it still falls in to place perfectly 81 years later.
So, what’s old is new again and again. We like to think the open-floor concept home is the “new” American lifestyle, but it truly had its roots in historic design. Wrights creative expressions and innovative thinking were the foundation for our modern day architecture.