The Gordon House - Marker #2 - Silverton, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
N 44° 59.764 W 122° 47.529
10T E 516382 N 4982534
One of four markers describing the history of the Gordon House
Waymark Code: WMJ2FE
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 09/12/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

This marker is the second (from the right) of four markers that describe the history of the historic Gordon House and it's architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Text of the marker reads:

The Gordon House

The Usonian House: The Way Families Live

Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian house style was introduced to America on the pages of the September 26, 1938 issue of Life magazine. During the midst of hard economic times, the Life editors commissioned eight of the country's leading architects to "design affordable houses for a representative family with an income in the middle range."

Wright's Usonian design, which he described as a "Little Private Club", was for a 1938 family earning $5,000 to $6,000 and responded to America's need for good, moderately priced housing.

Wright used the term USONIAN, an acronym for United States of North America. His Usonian house design included such innovations as an open floor plan where spaces flowed easily from room to room; comfortable and efficient radiant hot-water floor heat; cantilevered roofs with broad protective overhangs; economical carports; and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that linked the inside with the outside terrain. Local building materials were left their natural color and texture to age and mature gracefully with time.

Wright was convinced that a low-cost residence should reflect contemporary needs rather than a small imitation of a grand house, and his innovations changed the course of small house construction. His emphasis on perceived spaciousness rather than real space altered the face of suburbia in America as one-story horizontal house plans, open kitchens, expansive window walls and terraces became mainstream. His plans were strongly connected to the automobile so the carport was located near the entry. These houses retained similar principles, but each was a custom design for the site and the family it housed.

Frank Lloyd Wright continued designing Usonian style houses until his death in 1959. The Gordon House includes all the important elements of the Life magazine design.

Photo Captions:

  • Jacobs House I, a typical Usonian interior
  • Jacobs House I, a typical one-story Usonian exterior
  • Spread from the 1938 Life magazine article

Click a photo to enlarge

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Marion

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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